Boy Meets Girl

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Contents Dedication Begin Reading Acknowledgments About the Author Books by Meg Cabot Credits Copyright About the Publisher For Benjamin

THE NEW YORK JOURNAL New York City’s Leading Photo-Newspaper Kathleen A. Mackenzie Personnel Representative Human Resources The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019


Ida D. Lopez Craft Food Services The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019

Dear Mrs. Lopez:

Last week, we met to address your continuing job-performance problems related to thegiving out of dissemination of serving of items from the dessert cart you operate in the newspaper’s senior staff dining room. These problems have persisted despite repeated counseling sessions withme my boss Amy Jenkins supervisors as well as staff training programs. Specifically, your refusal togive disseminate serve dessert to certain members of the senior staff has resulted in several written complaints from administrators at thisestablishment paper company. Mrs. Lopez, your refusal to serve dessert to certain members of the paper’s staff is disruptive to food service operations, and the explanations that you have provided for your behavior are notsatisfactory wholly believable inexplicable acceptable. This letter is being issued as a written warning with the expectation that there will be an immediate and sustained improvement in yourwork attitude food service dissemination job performance. Failure to comply will result in further disciplinary action. On a more personal note, Mrs. Lopez, please stop refusing to give senior staff members dessert, even if you feel, as you explained to me last week, that they don’t “deserve it.” Which members of the paper’s staff do or do not deserve dessert is not your decision to make! And I would hate to see you asked to leave the food craft services department over something so silly! I would really miss you—and your chocolate chip cookies!

Damn it.

From the Desk of Kate Mackenzie

To do: 1. Laundry!!!!!!!!! 2. Finish disciplinary warning letter to Ida Lopez. 3. Pick up prescriptions—Allegra, Imitrex, Levlen. 4. Get new Almay pressed powder compact. 5. Find new apartment. 6. Find new boyfriend. 7. Get better job. 8. Get married. 9. Have successful career. 10. Have children/grandchildren/big retirement party. 11. Die in sleep at age 100. 12. Pick up dry cleaning!!!!!!!!! Kathleen A. Mackenzie Personnel Representative, LZ Human Resources The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019 212-555-6891 Sleaterkinneyfan: What are you doing? Katydid:

WORKING. Stop IM-ing me, you know the T.O.D. doesn’t like it when we IM during office hours.

Sleaterkinneyfan: The T.O.D. can bite me. And you are not working. I can see your desk from here. You’re making another one of those To Do lists, aren’t you? Katydid:

It may look like I’m making a To Do list, but really I am reflecting on the series of failures and bad judgment calls that have made up my

life. Sleaterkinneyfan: Oh my God, you are twenty-five years old. You have not even had a life yet. Katydid:

Then why am I in such mental and emotional anguish?

Sleaterkinneyfan: Because you stayed up too late last night watchingCharmed reruns. Don’t try to deny it, I heard you salivating over Cole. Katydid:

Oh my God, I’m so sorry!!!!!!!! Did I keep you and Craig awake?

Sleaterkinneyfan: Please. Craig would sleep through a nuclear blast. And I only heard you because I got up to use the bathroom. These hormones make me have to go every five minutes. Katydid:

I am so, so sorry. I swear I will be off your couch and out of your place just as soon as I get a line on a studio I can afford. Paula’s taking me to look at one tomorrow night in Hoboken. $1100/month, thirdfloor walk-up.

Sleaterkinneyfan: Would you stop? I told you, we like having you stay with us. Katydid:

Jen, you and Craig are trying to have a BABY. You do not need an old college roommate sacking out on your living room couch while you are trying to procreate. You did enough just getting me this job in the first place.

Sleaterkinneyfan: You more than earn your keep with all the cleaning you do. Don’t think I haven’t noticed. Craig even pointed out this morning that you had dusted the top of the refrigerator. Obsessive much, by the way? Who even looks at the top of the refrigerator? Katydid:

Well, Craig, OBVIOUSLY.

Sleaterkinneyfan: Whatever. You can’t afford $1100/month on your salary. I know how much you make, remember? Katydid:

It’s the cheapest place Paula’s found me so far. That isn’t on the same block as a methadone clinic.

Sleaterkinneyfan: I don’t understand why YOU are the one who had to move out. Why didn’t you kick HIM out? Katydid:

I can’t stay in that apartment. Not with the memories of all the happy times Dale and I shared.

Sleaterkinneyfan: Oh, you mean like all those times you came home from work to find that, like, one of his bandmates had mistaken the closet for the bathroom and peed on your suede boots? Katydid:


know it always makes me want to cry. I really loved those boots. They were perfect Coach knockoffs. Sleaterkinneyfan: You should have thrown his stuff out onto the fire escape and changed the locks. “I don’t know if I can marry you after all, I have to take things one day at a time.” I mean, what kind of thing is that for a guy to say????? Katydid:

Um, the kind of thing an ex-pothead who is about to land a milliondollar recording contract would say to the girl he has dated since high school. I mean, come on, Jen. Dale can get anyone now. Why would he stay with his girlfriend from high school?

Sleaterkinneyfan: Oh my God, I swear if it weren’t for the T.O.D. watching me like a hawk for any excuse to can my ass, I’d come over there and slap you. You are the best thing that ever happened to Dale, recording contract or no recording contract, and if he doesn’t know it, he isn’t worth it. Do you understand me, Katie? HE ISN’T WORTH IT. Katydid:

Yes, but then what does that say about ME? I’m the one who went out with him for ten years, after all. TEN YEARS. With a guy who isn’t sure now that he wants to marry me after all. I mean, what does that tell you about my ability to read people? Seriously, Jen, I probably shouldn’t even be allowed to work here. How can I presume to tell my employers who they should and should not hire when I am obviously such a heinous judge of character?

Sleaterkinneyfan: Katie, you are not a heinous judge of character. Your problem is that you— AmyJenkinsDir:

logged on


Pardon me for interrupting, ladies, but is there or is there not a departmental ban on Instant Messaging during office hours? Ms. Sadler, please get me the blue form on the new hire in Arts. Miss Mackenzie, I need to see you in my office right away.

Sleaterkinneyfan: logged off Katydid:

logged off


logged off

Sleaterkinneyfan: logged on Katydid:

logged on


Her home life must be very unsatisfactory.

Sleaterkinneyfan: logged off Katydid:

logged off

30’s East Rent Stabilized A Steal! Studio $1100. No Fee. Call Ron 718-555-7757

Yo! It’s Ron. Leave a message.


Um, hi, Ron? Hi, this is Kate, Kate Mackenzie. I’m calling about the apartment. The rent-stabilized studio in the East Thirties? Yeah. Please give me a call about it. I can come to look at it any time. Really. Like in five minutes, if you want. Just, you know. Call me. I’ll be at 212-555-6891 until five, then you can reach me at 212-555-1324. And thanks. Call anytime. Really. If you sprinkle When you tinkle Be a sweetie, Wipe the seatie!

This message brought to you by The Human Resources Division of theNew York Journal

THE NEW YORK JOURNAL New York City’s Leading Photo-Newspaper Features Division The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019

Human Resources Division The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019

We, the undersigned, of the Features Department of theNew York Journal, are hereby returning this sign, found in the restrooms on our division’s floor. While we realize that this sign is the Human Resources Division’s humorous way of dealing with the complaints of untidiness in the restrooms at 216 W. 57th Street, we find the sign offensive for the following reasons:

1. We in the Features Department do not “tinkle.” We urinate. 2. We in the Features Department do not refer to ourselves, or anyone else, as “sweetie.” (exception: Dolly Vargas has on occasion referred to people as sweeties, but not in reference to their hygienic practices) 3. We in the Features Department do not refer to toilet seats as “seaties.” A more appropriate step toward maintaining an appropriate standard of cleanliness in our restrooms might be more frequent spot checks by the custodial staff. Please do not hang signs like these in our restrooms EVER again.


George Sanchez Melissa Fuller-Trent Nadine Wilcock-Salerno Dolly Vargas

To: Jen Sadler Fr: Kate Mackenzie Re: Amy’s Toilet Signs

Oh, my God, the Features Dept. returned those signs the T.O.D. made housekeeping hang in all the toilet stalls! Too funny! Want to be there when I tell her? Amy, I mean.


To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Jen Sadler Re: Amy’s Toilet Signs

OF COURSE I want to be there. You know how disappointed she’ll be when she finds out. She says she hung signs like this all through her sorority house, and that the girls loved them. This is gonna be so good. . . .

New York Journal Employee Incident Report Name/Title of Reporter: Carl Hopkins, Security Officer

Date/Time of Incident: Wednesday, 1:30 p.m.

Place of Incident: NY JournalSenior Staff Dining Room

Persons Involved in Incident: Stuart Hertzog, legal counsel to theNY Journal, 35 Ida Lopez, Craft Food Services dessert cart operator,NY Journal, 64

Nature of Incident: S. Hertzog asked I. Lopez for more pie. I. Lopez said No more pie. S. Hertzog said But I see the pie right there, give me some. I. Lopez said No more pie for you. S. Hertzog said Why not? I. Lopez said You know good and well why. S. Hertzog summoned Security. Security gave him pie.

Follow-up: Incident recorded, sent to A. Jenkins in Human Resources.

To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Amy Jenkins Re: Ida Lopez


Thanks for your input re: Be a Sweetie/Wipe the Seatie. However, as I’m sure you’ve seen by now, we have a more pressing concern than the Features Department’s objections to my lavatory signs.

We’ve had another complaint about Ida Lopez, the dessert-cart operator in the senior-staff dining room. It appears the situation is getting worse. Today she categorically refused to give Stuart Hertzog, of Hertzog Webster and Doyle, the paper’s legal counsel, a piece of key lime pie. As you know, desserts in the senior-staff dining room are supposed to be unlimited. When questioned as to her reason behind refusing pie to Mr. Hertzog, Ms. Lopez replied, “He knows good and well.”

Mr. Hertzog, of course, hasn’t got the slightest idea what she is talking about. He has never set eyes on the woman before today.

As Ms. Lopez is currently on disciplinary probation from her last, similar violation, I believe we can begin moving forward with termination paperwork. Therefore, please discontinue work on her disciplinary warning letter for last week’s infraction and begin termination proceedings. Ms. Lopez should be informed no later than today at five o’clock

that her services will no longer be required here at theJournal . Please see that Security escorts her to her locker and that she cleans it out thoroughly. Security is not to allow her out of their sight until her keys and employee ID have been confiscated, and she has left the building.

I have been informed by Food Craft Services management that Ida Lopez is inexplicably popular with junior members of the staff. Therefore it would be best if this case were not discussed outside the confines of the department. Please remember that personnel matters are confidential.

I will expect Ms. Lopez’s termination paperwork on my desk no later than 3 p.m. today.


Amy Denise Jenkins Director Human Resources The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019 212-555-6890 [email protected]

This e-mail is intended only for the use of the individual to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged and confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this transmission in error; any review, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this transmission is prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by reply e-mail and delete this message and all of its attachments.

To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Tim Grabowksi Re: Ida Lopez

Hey, Katie, Ida’s one of yours, right? If so, you’ve got to do whatever you can to get this pie thing with Hertzog straightened out. Ida is the lifeblood of theNY Journal . Without her and her dessert cart, I for one will not be able to go on. And I think I speak for a lot of people here when I say if there’s anybody who does not deserve pie, it is Stu Hertzog.

Counting on you, as the only human in Human Resources (not including Jen, of course) to Do the Right Thing—


To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Nadine Wilcock-Salerno Re: Ida Lopez

Say it isn’t so! The rumor mill has it that Amy Jenkins is asking for the head of our best baker on a silver platter. DON’T GIVE IT TO HER!!!!!!!! WE NEED IDA’S CARROT CAKE! If possible, hooked into an IV and attached to my arm.

I mean it, Kate, don’t let them fire her.

Nad ;-)

To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Melissa Fuller-Trent Re: Ida Lopez

Dear Kate,

I was in the senior staff room today when Ida Lopez refused to serve pie to Stuart Hertzog, the paper’s legal counsel. All I can say is, Mr. Hertzog really was unforgivably rude to Mrs. Lopez, even before she refused to serve him—I mean, he acted like he had some kind of inalienable right to pie—and if you need me to make a sworn statement to that effect or anything, I would be willing to. Only please don’t let them fire Mrs. Lopez . . . her chocolate chip cookies are out of this world.


Mel Fuller-Trent Features The NY Journal

To: Kate Mackenzie

Fr: George Sanchez Re: Cookie Lady

Don’t fire her.

I mean it. Her gingersnaps are the only thing that keep me sane around here. Besides Mountain Dew.

George Sanchez Managing Editor The NY Journal

To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Dolly Vargas Re: That cafeteria lady

Darling, you simply can’t let them get rid of that little dessert-cart person. Her low-fat yogurt muffins are to DIE FOR. I myself have had her cater numerous events, and have received nothing but compliments . . . her carrot cake is simply DIVINE (if not exactly easy for those of us doing the low-carb thing to resist).

And really, if you get rid of her, who are you going to get to replace her? Good help doesn’t grow on trees, you know.



P.S. Thanks for helping to bail me out of that nasty little thing with Aaron Spender. Isn’t it the pits when they go all John Hinckley on you? So glad he took that job withNewsweek, I can’t even tell you! XXOO—D

To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Jen Sadler Re: Dessert Cart Lady

It is all over the building that the T.O.D. is going to give the Dessert Cart Lady the heave ho for not handing over a piece of pie to Stu Hertzog at lunch today. Is this true?


To: Jen Sadler Fr: Kate Mackenzie Re: Ida Lopez

It’s true. The T.O.D. says *I* have got to fire her. Today. Jen, how am I supposed to fire that sweet old lady? This has to be a mistake. English isn’t her first language. Maybe there was a misunderstanding. I mean, she always calls me dearie when she sees me in the hallway, and sneaks me chocolate chip cookies, even though as a new hire I am not even

allowed in the senior staff dining room. Plus everyone—EVERYONE—at the paper loves her.

Everyone except Stuart Hertzog, apparently.

But he’s a lawyer.A LAWYER. What does that tell you about his abilities as a judge of character? Hmmm?

Oh my God, I wish I had called in sick today.


To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Jen Sadler Re: Dessert Cart Lady

Amy is such a bitch. You know she’s totally in love with Hertzog, right? Tim up in Computers says he saw them at Il Buco last Saturday, with their tongues down each other’s throats. I mean, she’s all but picked out the china pattern. That’s the only reason she gives a crap about Ida.

I wonder if she’ll change her name when the time comes. If anyone deserves to be Mrs. Stuart Hertzog, it’s the T.O.D. You know what I heard? Hertzog has a cigar-store Indian in his office. He thinks just because he’s a big shot in his daddy’s firm—like his father before him, and his father before him, and so on—nobody’s going to say anything about how unPC it is, or the fact that he’s such a pedantic phony.

Maybe that’s why Ida wouldn’t give him pie.

All I have to say is, that suit he had on today had to cost three grand, easy. It was Armani.

But it doesn’t matter how well he dresses, he’ll still always look like Barney fromThe Flintstones.

Have you tried reasoning with the T.O.D.? I realize it probably won’t work, but you can be pretty persuasive, when you bat those baby-blues of yours.


To: Amy Jenkins Fr: Kate Mackenzie Re: Ida Lopez

Amy, are you really sure terminating Mrs. Lopez is the best idea? I mean, like you said, she is extremely popular with the staff. I have been inundated with e-mails from members of the staff—some of them senior members—asking that she not be let go.

It is possible that Mrs. Lopez might benefit from going through customer-service training again. Maybe if we go ahead with the written warning from last week’s infraction, she’ll straighten up. Like you yourself said at last month’s Staff Relations Committee meeting, termination represents not just a failure on the employee’s part, but a failure on the part of her supervisor, as well!


To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Amy Jenkins Re: Ida Lopez

I sincerely hope you are not questioning my authority in this matter, Kathleen. As someone who has less than a year of work here at theJournal under her belt, I would think the last thing you would want to do is question the actions of your direct supervisor—especially while you are still on employment probation.

Ida Lopez has been a continuous problem at this company since the day she was hired. My predecessor was not successful in getting rid of her, but I will be. This time, Ida’s gone too far. I want to see a complete written transcript of your interaction with her this afternoon before you leave the office for the day.

Amy Denise Jenkins Director Human Resources The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019 212-555-6890 [email protected]

This e-mail is intended only for the use of the individual to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged and confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this transmission in error; any review, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this transmission is prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by reply e-mail and delete this message and all of its attachments.

To: Jen Sadler Fr: Kate Mackenzie Re: Ida Lopez

It’s no good, the T.O.D. won’t go for it. Oh, God, Jen. Poor Mrs. Lopez is coming down in ten minutes! What am I going to say to her? WHY did I have to be assigned the LZs??? WHY???


To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Jen Sadler Re: Dessert Cart Lady

That’s it. We’re going to Lupe’s for mojitos after work. Damn the hormones, I need a drink.


Journal of Kate Mackenzie Professor Wingblade in Soc 101 said writing down our feelings would help us organize our thoughts and enable us to approach problem-solving in a rational manner. But I don’t feel very rational. What am I going to do? I can’t fire Mrs. Lopez. Okay, yeah, she did refuse service to the paper’s chief legal counsel. But I’ve seen Stuart Hertzog in action, and the fact is, like most lawyers—the ones I’ve met, anyway—he’s a pig. Once I had to share a cab with him to an arbitration and he yelled at the cabbie for taking Lexington Avenue instead of Park, even though the cabbie said there was construction on Park. Then when it came time to pay, Stuart wouldn’t give the guy a tip and said that he can’t stand immigrants because they think they know everything and that even if in the cabbie’s native land he was a surgeon, like he said, that didn’t mean he was qualified to navigate the streets of Manhattan in a moving vehicle, and why couldn’t they all (he meant immigrants, I guess) just stay home? I totally wanted to point out that Hertzog isn’t exactly a Native-American name, which means at one point Stuart’s relatives must have been new to this country as well, and who knows, maybe one of them worked as a cabbie or an omnibus driver or whatever and how would Stuart have liked it if some lawyer in a fancy suit spoke to his great-great-greatgreat-grandpa like that? Only I couldn’t say anything like that because Amy was there and she would have fired me. I actually don’t know if you can get fired for saying something like that—right to free speech and all—but I’m sure Amy would have found a way. I can’t believeI’m the one who has to fire her. Mrs. Lopez, I mean. Whyme ? I’ve never fired anyone before. Well, okay, I fired that porter who tried to feel up that seventeen-yearold lacrosse player who was touring the paper’s offices on that school field trip, but he so totally deserved it—I mean, his defense was that he couldn’t help it because she looked so good in her little plaid skirt. Please! I mean, it was apleasure to fire him. But this! This is totally different. I love Mrs. Lopez, and really, I don’t blame her a bit for what she did. I mean, they ought to fire Stuart Hertzog, is what they ought to do. I once saw him with a cigar—a CIGAR!—in the 3rd-floor hallway while he was waiting for the elevator, and when Mel Fuller from Features came by and asked him to put it out because she’s pregnant, he just went, “It’s not lit,” which was only half true because it totally had been lit in Mr. Hargrave’s office, it was still smoldering a little, even. Who does that, who smokes cigars inside a public building? And yells at poor innocent cab drivers? I mean, really. And now Jen wants to go out for drinks and she could be pregnant RIGHT NOW, which means she’ll probably have some kind of flipper baby, and it will all be my fault. Oh my God, I have got to find somewhere else to stay, I can’t keep crashing on their couch. It’s so

nice of them, but I can tell Craig is getting sick of having to share a bathroom with not just one woman but two. I could not have timed this thing with Dale worse. I mean, Jen and Craig have been trying to have a baby since they got married, and now that Jen’s on all those drugs—and really, she has to see me all day at work, and then again at home—we never get a break from each other. It’s a wonder she hasn’t cracked. . . . If I could find a decent sublet I would move out in a second, but I just don’t think I could handle having a roommate I don’t know. I mean, that girl in the share up on East 86th—I admire people with goals and all, but shouldn’t women in this day and age be striving to help improve the planet, or at least their community in some small way, instead of focusing all of their energy on finding a husband? I guess I should be more accepting of other people’s dreams, but really, I don’t think marrying an investment banker is going to solve all of your problems. I just don’t. I mean, it might HELP, in the long run, with rent and everything, but you can’t just go around life being Mrs. Investment Banker. I mean, you have to find where YOU as an individual, not Mrs. Whoever You Marry, fits into the world. And frankly, no matter how many Upper East Side bars you hit on a Saturday night, there is no guarantee you are going to meet someone decent in any of them. All the bridal magazines in the world aren’t going to change that. I mean, you’re better off volunteering somewhere. At least that way you’ll be doing something to improve the earth, in addition to trolling for a man. So it won’t be a COMPLETE waste of your time. . . . Oh God, maybe I’m being stupid, maybe I should just go back to him, I mean, it isn’tthat bad, being in a relationship with someone who won’t commit. I mean, lots of girls would die for a boyfriend like Dale. At least he never beat me up or cheated on me. I think he really does love me, and it IS just a stupid societal more. Marriage, I mean. Except that I distinctly remember Professor Wingblade telling us in Soc 101 that in EVERY civilization in the world—even in places like Micronesia where for hundreds of years they had no contact whatsoever with outside cultures—there issome sort of ceremony where couples in love stand up before their community and pledge their devotion to each other. I mean, essentially, Dale is flying in the face of thousands of years of tradition by saying he and I don’t need to do this to have a satisfying and nurturing romantic relationship. That simply isn’t true. Which is not to say that if Dale agreed to marry me today, I’d move back in with him tomorrow. I mean, I don’t want him to ask me just to humor me. I want him to ask me because he honestly and truly cannot picture a future without me. . . . Except that it seems like Dale is incapable of picturing any kind of future at all, except maybe a future where the fridge isn’t fully stocked with Rolling Rock, which is why he always seems to remember to buy more. But me, I don’t think he sees me in his future. . . . And I’m not even sure Iwant him to anymore, because the truth is, after seeing Jen and Craig and the way they are with each other, I know what true love looks like, and it isso not

what Dale and I have, and I think I deserve to have love like that. I think it’s out there, I don’t know where, but somewhere. . . . Oh God, she’s here.

Employee Interaction Transcript Employee:Ida Lopez Personnel Rep:Kathleen Mackenzie Date:Wednesday Time:3:15P.M.

KM: Um, just a second here, Mrs. Lopez. I have to turn this thing on . . . um . . . testing. . . . Testing. Oh, wait. Oops. There. I think it’s on. Does that look on? IL: The little wheels are spinning. KM: Um, okay. Well, this is Kathleen Mackenzie, and this is . . . is an employee interaction with Ida Lopez. Mrs. Lopez, I’m required by Human Resource policy to tape this session, for both your protection as well as my own. IL: I understand,carina. KM: Okay. Well. Thank you very much for coming to see me, Mrs. Lopez. I . . . er . . . I’m afraid I— IL: Well now, you know there’s nothing I like better than a little visit with my Kate. And just look how pretty you are looking today, in that pink top. KM: Thank you, Mrs. Lopez. I— IL: Pretty as a movie star. Skinny as a movie star, too. Too skinny, if you ask me. I don’t know about you girls today, always starving yourselves to look thinner. What’s so great about being thin? You think men want to go to bed with a stick figure? What’s so much fun about that? Would you want to go to bed with a stick figure? No, you wouldn’t. Here, better have a cookie.

KM: Oh, thank you, but really, I shouldn’t— IL: Shouldn’t what, get a little meat on those bones? KM: No, I mean, I shouldn’t . . . Mrs. Lopez, you know these desserts are supposed to be for senior staff members only. . . . IL: I don’t see why, if I made them, I cannot decide who deserves one of my famous chocolate chip cookies, and who does not. And you deserve a cookie. Here. KM: But Mrs. Lopez— IL: Look, it is your favorite. No nuts. Of course, most people like them with nuts. I recommend the pecans. Come on. Take a bite. KM: Mrs. Lopez, really, I— IL: One little bite never hurt anybody. And it’s not like that good-looking boyfriend of yours will care if you gain a little weight. That one I saw with you in the lobby after last year’s Christmas party. Sorry,holiday party. He seemed like a man who appreciates a woman with a little meat on their bones. KM: Oh, well, actually, he and I sort of— IL: Oh no! You broke up? KM: Well, yes, a little while ago. I mean . . . we didn’t break up, exactly—Oh my God, Mrs. Lopez. This is the best chocolate chip cookie I ever had. IL: You know the secret, of course? KM: Hmmm, wait, let me guess. You melt the butter before putting it in? IL: No,carina. Well, I do let it sit to room temperature. But I meant the secret to getting a man to commit. KM: No, what is it? IL: Find the right man. Yours—the one I saw you with—he’s not right for you. I knew it the minute I saw him. He’ll never appreciate you. He’s too wrapped up in himself. I could tell, because of the way he kept talking about that band of his. He made it sound like his band meant more to him than you do! KM: (Choking sound) Excuse me.

IL: Oh, here, better have some milk to wash that down. No, don’t go on about how fattening it is. It’s good for you. Helps build strong bones. There. So simple, you really could make them at home. Here, let me write the recipe down for you. KM: Oh, Mrs. Lopez! Your secret recipe? You can’t— IL: Of course I can. Now, in a large mixing bowl, beat two sticks of unsalted butter until smooth. Then add one cup of packed brown sugar, a quarter cup of granulated sugar, one large egg, and two and a half teaspoons of vanilla extract. Beat this until very well blended. Then gently beat in half—just half—of a mixture of one and three quarter cups, plus seven tablespoons—this is important—of all-purpose flour, three quarters of a teaspoon of baking powder, one third teaspoon of baking soda, a generous quarter teaspoon of salt— KM: Mrs. Lopez, really, this isn’t— IL: Then stir in the remaining flour mixture—but don’t overmix it. Then stir in the chocolate chips and pecans. Drop the cookies by teaspoonfuls—about two inches apart—on greased baking sheets, then bake for eight to ten minutes. Remember to let the pans stand for about a minute after you take them from the oven. You don’t want them to lose their shape. Then use a spatula—you have a spatula, don’t you, Kate?—and put the cookies on a wire rack to cool. See? Easy! Now. Hadn’t you better get on with it? KM: What? Oh. Yes. Mrs. Lopez. The reason I’ve asked you here today has to do with the incident that occurred this afternoon in the senior staff dining room— IL: Yes, of course. Señor Hertzog. KM: Yes, exactly. Mrs. Lopez, you know you and I have met before over a similar— IL: Yes, I remember. I wouldn’t give any of my peach cobbler to that man from the Mayor’s Office. Oh, your boss was very put out with me that time. That . . . What’s her name again? Oh, yes, Jenkins. Amy Jenkins. You know, talking about food issues? That one has some big ones. I’ve seen your boss down three of my chocolate cheesecake muffins, then head straight to the ladies’ room— KM:Okay, Mrs. Lopez, that’s great, but that’s not why we’re here today. We’re here today to talk about Mr. Hertzog— IL: Of course. I wouldn’t let him have any of my key lime pie. KM: But see, Mrs. Lopez, that’s just it. You can’t, you know, just make arbitrary decisions about who does and who does not get pie in the senior-staff dining room. You have to give pie to anyone who asks for a slice.

IL: Well, I know I’m supposed to. But you’ve had my desserts,carina. You know they are specially prepared—lovingly prepared, even—for very special people. I don’t feel I should have to share them with just anyone. KM: But see, actually, Mrs. Lopez, you do. Because if you don’t, we get complaints, and then you know I have to ask you to come down here and— IL: Oh, I know,carina. I’m not blaming you. KM: And you know, it would be one thing if you owned your own bakeshop or restaurant, and you refused to serve law—I mean, people like Stuart Hertzog. But you’re employed by theNew York Journal,and the paper can’t have you refusing to serve— IL: Their lead counsel. I understand, dear. I really do. And you warned me about it before. And so now I suppose that boss of yours wants you to fire me. KM: Mrs. Lopez, you know I— IL: It’s all right, Kate. No need to get upset. She likes Señor Hertzog. I know that. KM: If there was anything I could—I mean, was Mr. Hertzog mean to you? Did he say something rude to you? Because if I could just give Amy—I mean, my superiors—a reason why you might have refused to serve Mr. Hertzog— IL: Oh, he knows. KM: Well, that’s just it. I mean, he says he doesn’t know. IL: Oh no. He knows. KM: Well, maybe if you could tell me— IL: Oh, I couldn’t do that! Now, you must have Security escort me out. KM: I’m so sorry, Mrs. Lopez. But, yes, I’m going to have to— IL: It’s all right. One of them will be the Hopkins boy. He loves my cranberry scones. I’ll have to check to make sure I—Oh, yes, here’s one. It was so nice visiting with you,carina. Let’s see, you’re friends with that nice Señora Sadler. Here, be sure to give her this. My gingersnaps are her favorites, and I know that, with the baby shots and all, she’s very sad. But tell her she shouldn’t worry. She’ll have a nice baby girl by the end of next year. KM: Mrs. Lopez— IL: Oh, don’t cry,carina! I’m sure you’re not supposed to cry when you fire someone. Here, we’ll turn this off, so we don’t get you into—

To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Amy Jenkins Re: Ida Lopez

Please see me first thing tomorrow morning concerning the recording of your interview with Ida Lopez, which I’ve just finished listening to.

Amy Denise Jenkins Director Human Resources The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019 212-555-6890 [email protected]

This e-mail is intended only for the use of the individual to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged and confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this transmission in error; any review, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this transmission is prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by reply e-mail and delete this message and all of its attachments.

Appetizers Soup of the Day


Oh my God, I am so fired. I can’t believe how fired I am. Why did I have to start crying during the Guacamole


interview? Why didn’t I think to turn the tape off before I started bawling my head off? Sweet Plantains


Why can’t I be like the T.O.D.? SHE would never cry while firing someone. But I don’t WANT to be Yucca Fries


like the T.O.D. I hate her. I should just quit. Now I have to find a new job on top of a new apt. and Nachos with Cheese


boyfriend. WHY IS EVERYTHING BAD HAPPENING TO ME ALL AT ONCE???? And why Nachos with Jalapenos


can I never find my journal when I need it? Which begs the question, where is it? What if Nachos with Beef


Amy or one of the housekeeping staff finds it? And reads it? Then I will be fired for sure. And Nachos Grandes


where the hell is Jen? She said to meet at Lupe’s after work, and so I’m here but she’s not, and now I Salsa Cruda


am sitting here by myself pretending to be jotting important business notes on this menu so that creepy Quesadillas


guy in the corner won’t come over here and start talking to me. Must try to appear like imp. business Quesadilla Grandes


woman with no time for casual flirtation in Mexican restaurant. Oh my God, what if Jen doesn’t come Mini Quesadilla Grandes


and I end up having to eat here by myself and that guy comes over and tries to join me and it turns out House Salad


he’s the vestibule rapist and he follows me back to Jen’s building and pulls a knife on me? Thank Mexican Salad


God I took that self-defense class through the Staff Resource Program. Won’t he be surprised when Mexican Grilled Chicken Salad


I break his nasal cartilage with an upthrust heel of the hand and send it back into his brain stem, instantly Mexican Bean Salad


paralyzing him? Although on the whole I would much rather just meet Jen for drinks like we planned. Sides Oh, God, I need a beer. Poor Mrs. Lopez! I guess she is looking for a job now, too. Only she has Chips


a lot more chance than I do of getting something decent. Those cookies were delicious, anybody Spanish Rice


would hire her in a minute, whereas I am totally useless. I can only type 35 words per minute and God Jalapenos


knows I can’t supervise, my people skills are for shit, I can’t even get a decent boyfriend let alone tell Sour Cream


people how to do their jobs. It is such a joke, the paper hiring me, it is just a wonder I have even Chopped Onion lasted this long, at this point I should just—Oh, there’s Jen, THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Dear Kate, Sorry to leave a note taped up to the door like this (hi, Jen, hi, Craig), but it’s not like you’ve really given me much of an alternative. I mean, if you’d stop screening your calls at work and on your cell and pick up once in a while, I wouldn’t have to pull this stalkery crap. I’ve seriously got to talk to you, I’m going crazy here. You won’t return my messages, and every time I try to reach you at Jen’s, she says you’re out. I know you’re not out, I know you’re probably sitting right there on the couch right now watching freakingCharmed, or whatever. Anyway, about that whole One Day at a Time thing. Look, maybe we WILL be together forever. Or maybe we won’t. I mean, I’m not omission. I can’t see into the future. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Why can’t things go back to being the way they were, you know? How come all of a sudden we have to put, like, these labels on things? I mean, like why is it so important to you that I say I’ll love you forever? Why can’t I just say I love you, like, for now? Why isn’t that enough, all of a sudden? It was enough for the past ten years. Katie, COME HOME. I miss you. The guys miss you, too.

Love, Dale

P.S. I could really use your advice. The studio’s being really assholish, they’re trying to make us change our name from I’m Not Making Any More Sandwiches to just Sandwich. What kind of name is that for a band? Who’s gonna buy a record from a band called Sandwich?

Hi, you’ve reached Kate and Dale. We can’t come to the phone right now, so at the tone, please leave a message, and we’ll get back to you. Thanks!


Dale, you have got to change that message. I don’t live there anymore, remember? Anyway, about your note . . . Oh my God, I don’t even know why I called. Just forget it, okay? Nothing’s changed, I just—Oh, never mind.


Hi, you’ve reached Kate and Dale. We can’t come to the phone right now, so at the tone, please leave a message, and we’ll get back to you. Thanks!


Oh my God, you have got to change that message. It’s Jen, by the way. You remember me, right? Your ex-girlfriend’s best friend? The word isomniscient, buddy, notomission. Got it? Good. Oh, also, don’t come around here anymore. You just make Kate sad. And no, I’m not drunk right now, but am totally hopped up on hormones, so you’d better be scared, because I swear to God, if I catch you around here again, I’ll— (Click)


Hi, you’ve reached Kate and Dale. We can’t come to the phone right now, so at the tone, please leave a message, and we’ll get back to you. Thanks!


Stupid machine cut me off. I really mean it. Remember that time in college when I threatened to kick the ass of that friend of yours who brought the smack to the house party Kate and I had? Remember? I didn’t care that he had a gun, I wasn’t scared of him. Well, that’s what I’m going to do to you, too, bud, if you keep on. . . . What do you mean hang up the phone? No, I will not hang up the phone, Craig, I happen to be helping Kate. She had a very bad day and I am just—no, I am not making things worse, I’m helping. I happen to be a trained human resources representative, and I’m—don’t you—Give me that!


Hi, you’ve reached Kate and Dale. We can’t come to the phone right now, so at the tone, please leave a message, and we’ll get back to you. Thanks!

(Tone) Dude, it’s Craig. Sorry about that. Jen and Kate went out for mojitos, and Jen just had one, but she’s wasted. You know, she’s on all those fertility drugs, so she gets really drunk on just like one drink. So, sorry, man. I took the phone away from her and hid it in the closet. She should be all right in the morning. I hope.

(Click) From the Desk of Kate Mackenzie

To do:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Quit job (unless fired; if fired, see #2). Start packing up belongings. ASPIRIN????? Maybe in bottom drawer. Find new job. Find new apartment. Find new boyfriend. Oh, God, I don’t know, my head is throbbing. . . . Did I call Dale last night? God, I hope not. 8. Pick up dry cleaning!!!!!!!!!

Kathleen A. Mackenzie Personnel Representative, LZ Human Resources The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019 212-555-6891 [email protected]

Chelsea/19th betw. 9th and 10th. Exp. brk. wall, grt. light, elev. bldg., courtyd. view. $1195, No Fee. Call Ron 718-555-7757

Yo. It’s Ron. Leave a message.


Hi, Ron? It’s Kate. Kate Mackenzie, I left a message yesterday? About the studio in the East Thirties? Well, I never heard from you. Does that mean the studio’s taken already? Well, even if it is, can you call me back? Because I saw your ad for the place in Chelsea. The one that’s eleven ninety-five? Could you call me about that one? Because I’m really interested. Again, it’s 212-555-6891 until five, then you can reach me at 212-555-1324. And thanks. Thanks a lot. Call anytime. Sleaterkinneyfan: Does your head hurt as much as mine does? Katydid:

More. You only had one drink, remember? I had seven. Do you think I’m fired?

Sleaterkinneyfan: For coming in with a hangover? Whatever. They’d have to fire the whole department. Especially the day after the Christmas party. Katydid:

No, for crying while I fired Mrs. Lopez.

Sleaterkinneyfan: Oh, please. This is Human Resources. They never fire anybody in this department. Maybe if you stripped off your blouse and started singing “Everybody Wang Chung Tonight” in the mailroom. Katydid:

The T.O.D. wants me in her office at ten. I will bet you anything it’s to

give me a verbal warning. Sleaterkinneyfan: Would you stop? They are not going to fire you. If anybody’s getting fired, it’s the T.O.D. Did you see all the senior staff members standing around outside the dining room this morning, looking (ineffectually) for Mrs. L’s dessert cart? There are going to be some phone calls today, believe me, when word gets up to the VPs that there aren’t going to be any more chocolate cheesecake muffins. Katydid:

They’ll just find some other outside vendor.

Sleaterkinneyfan: Yeah, but no one’s muffins can match Mrs. L’s. Katydid:

True. Jen, I think I have to quit.

Sleaterkinneyfan: WHAT??????????????? Katydid:

Seriously. I mean, how can I stand by and let them do that to poor Mrs. Lopez? I mean, it isn’t right. She’s a sixty-four-year-old woman.

Sleaterkinneyfan: A sixty-four-year-old woman who wouldn’t give pie to the head of personnel’s boyfriend, who also happens to be one of the most powerful lawyers in the city, and this company’s chief legal counsel. Kate, you had no choice. Mrs. Lopez brought it on herself. You’d warned her before. It isn’t like she wasn’t aware of the consequences. Katydid:

Yeah, but maybe I wasn’t stern enough with her. Maybe she didn’t take me seriously. Nobody does, you know. Takes me seriously. I mean, why should they? I’m just like this IDIOT from Kentucky who dated the same guy all through high school and college. Why did I even major in Psych in college? I mean, seriously. I am the worst judge of character of ALL TIME.

Sleaterkinneyfan: Because you suck at everything else, remember? Besides, weren’t we going to help people? Katydid:


Sleaterkinneyfan: Come on. You know you’ve helped a lot of people. What about that girl you hired for the Art Department last month? The one who was so happy when she found out she got the job, she cried and sent you flowers? Katydid:

So I had one good day. But come on, Jen. We’re not exactly Making a Difference. Like we planned. I mean, remember when we were going to open Jen and Kate’s Free Therapy Clinic?

Sleaterkinneyfan: Yes, but that was before we moved to Manhattan and had to dedicate half of our salaries to rent. Katydid:

Maybe we should have stayed in Kentucky.

Sleaterkinneyfan: So we could be spending our weekends eating pork tenderloin at the NASCAR races? No thank you. Katydid:

I happen to like pork tenderloin. Um . . . Speaking of Kentucky, do you remember if I called Dale last night? I have this dim memory that I did.

Sleaterkinneyfan: So what if you did? I mean, the goober asked you to, remember? In that stupid note. Seriously, there is something wrong with him. Who leaves NOTES on people’s DOORS in New York City? And what was that slur againstCharmed ?Charmed happens to be a very good show. Katydid:

I know! Witches! Helping people!

Sleaterkinneyfan: Totally helping people. And killing demons at the same time. In halter tops. Katydid:

I wasn’t mean to him, was I? When I called him back?

Sleaterkinneyfan: Oh, would you get over it? Who takes relationships one day at a time? I mean after TEN YEARS, three of which you lived together, for crying out loud. Katydid:

WHY DID I STAY WITH HIM FOR SO LONG????? I’m such a loser.

Sleaterkinneyfan: You are not a loser. You know who’s a loser? The T.O.D. Did you see what she has on? Katydid:

Oh my God, I know. The same thing she was wearing yesterday.

Sleaterkinneyfan: The T.O.D. got some! Did you see that hickey on her neck? She tried to hide it with concealer, but it is SO OBVIOUS. Why didn’t she go home to change before coming in this morning? That is so . . . gross. It’s like she WANTS us to know. Like she’s rubbing it in. Katydid:

It’s working. I can’t believe the T.O.D. is having sex and I’m not.

Sleaterkinneyfan: And you so know who she’s doing it WITH. Mr. No Pie For You himself. Oh my God, wait. . . . Did you see that? Katydid:

See what?

Sleaterkinneyfan: When she waved her hand just now, talking to Steph at the reception desk. Is that a DIAMOND ON HER LEFT RING FINGER???? Katydid:


Sleaterkinneyfan: That is the hugest rock I have ever seen. It’s the size of my belly button!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Katydid:

She’s engaged. I can’t believe it. The T.O.D. is engaged.

Sleaterkinneyfan: MRS. STUART HERTZOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Katydid:

I can’t believe someone asked the T.O.D. to marry him. I can’t even get a guy to agree to admit he might still be going out with me this summer, let alone FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE.

Sleaterkinneyfan: *I* can’t believe she hasn’t come over here to throw it up in our faces. I mean, that has to be three carats, at least. Although compared to my paltry .5, anything would look big. Katydid:

Hey! Craig spent what he could afford. It wasn’t easy, picking out a ring on a computer programmer’s salary. A computer programmer’sstarting salary.

Sleaterkinneyfan: Cool it! I wouldn’t trade my .5 for that barnacle creeping all the way up her knuckle for all the money in the world. I’m just saying—hey, who’s that guy in the suit heading for the T.O.D.’s office? Katydid:

Her wedding planner? Geez, she works fast.

Sleaterkinneyfan: Is that a SUMMONS he’s holding? Katydid:

Oh, God, I hope so. I hope it turns out the T.O.D. is being sued for incompetence.

Sleaterkinneyfan: Um, you don’t think it’s the pre-nup, do you? Katydid:

Oh my God, Stuart Hertzog would SO make his potential bride sign a pre-nup! What is she doing now, can you see? Is she crying? If she’s crying, it’s definitely the pre-nup.

Sleaterkinneyfan: I can’t tell if she’s crying or not. She’s still reading it. Okay, he’s leaving the T.O.D’s office. Maybe I can . . . Hey, why is he walking over toward YOU? Katydid:

Oh, n—

ATTORNEYS AT LAW 444 Madison Avenue, Suite 1505 New York, NY 10022 212-555-7900

Kathleen A. Mackenzie Personnel Representative, Human Resources The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019

Dear Ms. Mackenzie,

Pursuant to Article 29, page 31 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between theNew York Journal and the United Staff Association of NYJ, Local 6884, former employee Ida Lopez has chosen to file a grievance concerning the termination of her employment at theNew York Journal.

You are hereby notified of pending arbitration—in which your employer, as well as you personally, are named as defendants for breach of contract—and during which my firm will be representing you. Please notify my assistant as soon as possible of your availability for a pretrial discovery conference.

Sincerely, Mitchell Hertzog


To: Jen Sadler Fr: Kate Mackenzie


Mrs. Lopez is suing me! ME!!!!!!!!!! After everything I tried to do for her!!!!!

Which, considering she did lose her job, isn’t all that much, I guess. But still. I mean, I TRIED. I warned her plenty of times of what might happen if she didn’t stop refusing to let people have pie.

And now she’s suing me! Can she even have a legal leg to stand on? Did I do something wrong? Oh my God, what if I did something wrong? ThenI’llbe fired too!

Oh my God, this is so like an episode ofCharmed : Whatever you put out into the world comes back to you, times three, good or bad. I fired Mrs. Lopez, and now I’m going to have THREE TIMES the bad luck as I did before.

As if I didn’t already have the worst luck of any girl on the eastern seaboard.

And who the hell is Mitchell Hertzog? I thought the T.O.D.’s boyfriend’s name was STUART!!!!!!!!


To: Kate M ackenzie Fr: Amy Jenkins Re: (None)

See me at once.

Amy Denise Jenkins Director Human Resources The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019 212-555-6890 [email protected]

This e-mail is intended only for the use of the individual to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged and confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this transmission in error; any review, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this transmission is prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by reply e-mail and delete this message and all of its attachments.

To: Jen Sadler Fr: Kate Mackenzie Re: OH MY GOD

The T.O.D. wants to see me at once!!!!!! Which means I have to have done something wrong!!!!!!!!



To: Stuart Hertzog Fr: Amy Jenkins Re: Mitchell Hertzog

Stuart, I have just received a letter from someone whom I can only presume is a family member of yours.

If this is a joke, I have to say it is in highly questionable taste.

If it is not a joke, might I ask why, considering the fact that I had Ida Lopez’s employment terminated at your request, someoneelsefrom your law office will be representing me and my employer when we go to court against this woman for breach of contract?

I swore I wasn’t going to bring my personal feelings into this, but I can’t help it. After what happened between us last night, Stuart—howcould you let something so important be handled by some underling . . . even if he IS a relative of yours?


Amy Denise Jenkins Director

Human Resources The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019 212-555-6890 [email protected]

This e-mail is intended only for the use of the individual to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged and confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this transmission in error; any review, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this transmission is prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by reply e-mail and delete this message and all of its attachments.

To: Amy Jenkins Fr: Stuart Hertzog Re: Mitchell Hertzog

Amy, darling, I’m so sorry. Mitch was supposed to wait until I’d had a chance to call you this morning before sending that letter.

The fact of the matter is, sweetheart, I can’t represent you or the paper, due to the fact that I am so personally involved in the case. However, Mitch—my younger brother—is an excellent lawyer, one of the best we’ve got, and will do just as good a job as I would myself, I swear.

On a personal note, how could you entertain the idea, even for a moment, that after what happened between us last night, I would ever do anything that might hurt you or your career? When I woke up this morning and gazed down upon your sleeping face, it was as if I was gazing at the face of an angel, and all I could wonder was, what did I ever do to deserve such good fortune? Amy, you are my everything.

I promise you, you’re in the best of hands.

Yours, now more than ever, Stuart

Stuart Hertzog, Senior Partner Hertzog Webber and Doyle, Attorneys at Law 444 Madison Avenue, Suite 1505 New York, NY 10022 212-555-7900

To: Mitchell Hertzog Fr: Stuart Hertzog Re: Ida Lopez

Mitch, you asshole. What do you think you’re doing? I told you not to messenger those letters to theJournal until I’d had a chance to call Amy. Have you been drinking, or are you just criminally stupid? Or do you just not care?

I’m warning you right now: Fuck up this case and you’re a dead man.

Stuart Hertzog, Senior Partner Hertzog Webber and Doyle, Attorneys at Law 444 Madison Avenue, Suite 1505 New York, NY 10022 212-555-7900

To: Stuart Hertzog Fr: Mitchell Hertzog Re: Ida Lopez

Stuie! Nice to hear from you. Isn’t it funny how two people can work down the hall from each other—can come, in fact, from the same gene pool—and yet manage to go weeks without exchanging a single pleasantry?

In reply to your e-mail, I am neither drunk nor, to the best of my knowledge, criminally stupid. It’s true I don’t care, though. Does that bother you? Sorry. But when a little old lady takes on a titan of publishing like Peter Hargrave, aka owner of New York’s leading photonewspaper, in a breach of contract suit, it’s kind of hard for me to root for the home team, if you know what I mean.


P.S. Where were you last night? I called during the Michigan game, but got no answer. I know you never go anywhere except out for drinks with Webber and Doyle, and they’re in

Scottsdale with Dad for the golf tourney. Could you, perhaps, have Hooked Up? WithAMY ?

To: Mitchell Hertzog Fr: Stuart Hertzog Re: Ida Lopez

I don’t know what Dad was thinking, asking you to join the firm. You’re as big a slacker now as you were when we were kids.

And as for my hooking up, that is none of your business.

Stuart Hertzog, Senior Partner Hertzog Webber and Doyle, Attorneys at Law 444 Madison Avenue, Suite 1505 New York, NY 10022 212-555-7900

To: Stuart Hertzog Fr: Mitchell Hertzog Re: Ida Lopez

As for Dad hiring me, you’ll remember that it was right after his heart attack. Clearly he wasn’t in his right mind. I warned him then, but he wouldn’t listen.

So. The hookup. Itis that chick from theJournal,isn’t it?

Stuie, Stuie, Stuie. Have you learned nothing under my tutelage? I thought I told you to stay away from personnel rep types. They’re all psychiatrist wannabes. You really want to get your head shrunk at the same time you’re getting your, um, ego stroked? Not a good idea.

Hey. Balucchi’s for lunch?


To: Mitchell Hertzog Fr: Stuart Hertzog Re: Ida Lopez

You leave my ego out of this, you son of a bitch. Mom’s right: You have no sense of family loyalty. Oh, sure, you took the job when Dad had his triple bypass. But the old guy’s doing fine now. So what are you still doing here?

And don’t try to give me that shit about Dad wanting you around. I bet you haven’t talked to Dad in weeks, just like the rest of us.

Why don’t you go back to defending crackheads and the other lowlifes you seem to enjoy hanging around with so much?

And Amy Jenkins happens to be my fiancée—a word I’m aware you wouldn’t understand, because you’ve never gone out with a woman longer than a single basketball season. I would thank you not to screw up this ridiculous lawsuit against her and her employer—who also happens to be one of our biggest clients, if you’ll trouble yourself to recall.

And I wouldn’t go to thecorner with you, let alone to some chintzy chain ethnic eatery. What the hell is wrong with you? You’re a partner now, you can afford to eat lunch in places that don’t offer a $6.95 all-you-can-eat special, you know. Oh, but wait, I’m sorry, you’re probably saving your money to give away to some bleeding heart Save-theCrackhead Fund.

Stuart Hertzog, Senior Partner Hertzog Webber and Doyle, Attorneys at Law 444 Madison Avenue, Suite 1505 New York, NY 10022 212-555-7900

To: Stuart Hertzog Fr: Mitchell Hertzog Re: Ida Lopez

Touchy touchy touchy! Fiancée, huh? So you’re finally taking the plunge, huh? That’s quite an accomplishment, Stuie. You’re aware that if you go through with it, you might actually have to start sharing your stuff with her? You know, like the remote control, and the SUV, and your wine-of-the-month-club membership, and all of that.

Admit it, you’re just mad because I made Law Review and you didn’t. Come on, Stuie. You’re the one who got into Yale, while I had to make do with a state education.

Congrats on the whole wedding thing. I’m sure you two will be happy. And I didn’t mean it about the bulimia thing. Much.

Mitch P.S. Have you told Mom yet? I wouldn’t know, see, on account of how Mom’s still not speaking to me over the whole Janice thing. So if you’re hoping to make her regret ever giving birth to me by telling her all the mean things I said about your girlfriend, too bad.

She already does.

Hate me, I mean.

To: Mitchell Hertzog Fr: Stuart Hertzog Re: Ida Lopez

Your congratulations are accepted.

P.S. Stop calling me Stuie!

Stuart Hertzog, Senior Partner Hertzog Webber and Doyle, Attorneys at Law 444 Madison Avenue, Suite 1505 New York, NY 10022 212-555-7900

To: Stacy Trent Fr: Mitchell Hertzog Re: You’ll never believe this one:

Stuie’s getting married.


P.S. No, this is not a joke.

To: Amy Jenkins Fr: Stuart Hertzog Re: Mitchell Hertzog

Don’t worry, Amy. It’s all taken care of. I spoke to my brother, and he’s offered us his congratulations. Everything is going to be fine. Mitch just has some issues, because I’m the oldest and—frankly—the best liked by our parents of the four of us kids. That kind of thing can eat away at a person—well, you know that, being in the field you’re in. My sisters— well, my sister Stacy, anyway—have handled it better than Mitch. He has never really lived up to his potential—he has a 165 IQ, but he got lousy grades in school, and didn’t even bother to apply to any good colleges. In fact, he took a year off between high school and college and just roamed aimlessly around the globe, managing to spend his entire twohundred-thousand-dollar share of the inheritance from our grandfather. I have a feeling he gave most of it away to the Dalai Lama, or some other loser.

He finally ended up at Michigan State and fell in with a bad crowd—you know the sorts I mean: writers . . . artists . . . democrats. He didn’t even join a fraternity. I was as surprised as anybody when he decided to go to law school instead of joining the Peace Corps or becoming a mime or something.

Of course, when he graduated, Dad offered him a job with the firm—familial loyalty, and all of that. But would you believe Mitch had the nerve to turn it down? The guy spent four years working as a public defender (!) before finally agreeing to come work for Dad—but not until the old guy was on his deathbed . . . or thought he was, anyway, since he’s apparently doing fine now, given that he never seems to come in off the links.

Anyway, I can’t say spending all that time with murderers and drug addicts did Mitch’s disposition any good. But he’s a damned good lawyer. So you can quit worrying and meet me for lunch at Lespinasse, as we planned. I can’t wait to gaze into those sparkling eyes of yours over a glass of Cristal . . . I hope they’re still shining as brightly as that diamond on your finger. . . .

Yours, as ever, Stuart

Stuart Hertzog, Senior Partner

Hertzog Webber and Doyle, Attorneys at Law 444 Madison Avenue, Suite 1505 New York, NY 10022 212-555-7900

To: Stuart Hertzog Fr: Amy Jenkins Re: Mitchell Hertzog

Oh, Stuart, that’s so sweet! I knew you’d take care of it. Thank you so much!

And don’t worry about that stuff with your brother. We all have family members we’d prefer to have little to do with. I myself have both a sister and a brother I’m not exactly looking forward to introducing to you. And my parents—well, I won’t get into that.

But there are some family members of mine I’m dying for you to get to know—my Pi Delt sisters! I just know you’re going to love them—they’re really a swell group of gals. A bunch of us are meeting at the Monkey Bar after work . . . PLEASE say you’ll stop by so I can show you off to them. I can’t wait for you to meet them! Looking forward to our lunch . . . and to proving to you that my eyes are still shining just as brightly as they were last night. . . .


Amy Denise Jenkins

Director Human Resources The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019 212-555-6890 [email protected]

This e-mail is intended only for the use of the individual to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged and confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this transmission in error; any review, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this transmission is prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by reply e-mail and delete this message and all of its attachments. From the Desk of Amy D. Jenkins

Mrs. Stuart Hertzog Mrs. S. A. Hertzog Mrs. Amy Denise Hertzog Jenkins-Hertzog Mrs. Jenkins-Hertzog Mrs. Amy Jenkins-Hertzog Mrs. A. D. Jenkins-Hertzog Stuart, Amy, Heath, and Annabelle Hertzog

Heath Hertzog no Connor Hertzog Annabelle Hertzog Connor Jenkins-Hertzog Annabelle Jenkins-Hertzog Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Jenkins-Hertzog

Amy Denise Jenkins Director Human Resources The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019 212-555-6890 [email protected]

To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Jen Sadler Re: OH MY GOD

SO????????? WHAT HAPPENED??????


To: Jen Sadler Fr: Kate Mackenzie Re: OH MY GOD

I don’t know. It’s the weirdest thing. I went into the T.O.D.’s office, and she was . . . doodling. And humming. Doodling and humming, almost like . . .

Like a human being!

She seemed surprised to see me—like she’d forgotten about the whole thing. I asked her about the letter, and she just went, “Oh, that’s Stuart’s brother. He’ll be representing the paper in the arbitration.” Then she SHOWED ME HER RING!

I’m not kidding. She went, “I thought I should tell you before you heard it through the departmental grapevine . . . Stuart Hertzog and I are engaged.”

Then she waved that massive rock—you were right, it IS three carats, she told me—under my nose and went, “Oh, Kate! I’m so happy!” in this very weird voice. Almost like she knows she SHOULD be happy, so she’s determined to ACT happy. You know what I mean? I didn’t know what to do—genuflect and kiss the stupid thing, or just say congratulations— so I just said congratulations and got the hell out of there.

Oh my God, I still feel unclean. I think I’ll need a bacon cheeseburger for lunch before I feel like myself again.

Kate Sleaterkinneyfan: Okay, now THAT is weird. Sleaterkinneyfan: Are you crazy? Quit I.M.-ing me, she’s gonna catch us. Sleaterkinneyfan: Hello, you said she was doodling. And HUMMING. Doodling, humming, newly engaged bosses do not pay attention when their employees are I.M.-ing. So did you ask if she’s taking his name? Sleaterkinneyfan: No, of course not. Sleaterkinneyfan: She will. I can’t WAIT to address my first employee action form to Amy Hertzog. Oh my God, it is going to be great. OH MY GOD, IF THEY HAVE KIDS, THEY’LL BE HERTZOGS TOO!!!!!!!!! Sleaterkinneyfan: You so know if she has a boy she’ll name it Connor. It’s like the number-one most popular name for boys right now, and God knows, Amy has to do whatever’s popular. Sleaterkinneyfan: Totally. And if it’s a girl, it will be Annabelle. ANNABELLE HERTZOG!!! Sleaterkinneyfan: Stop it. The guy can’t help what his last name is. Sleaterkinneyfan: Um, hello, he so can. You think my last name is really Sadler? No, it was Sadlinsokov, until my ancestors got to Ellis Island and wisely shortened it. Sleaterkinneyfan: I think Sadlinsokov sounds nice. It has character. Sleaterkinneyfan: So . . . admit it. Things are getting good around here. You don’t want to quit anymore, do you? Sleaterkinneyfan: For what they made me do to Mrs. Lopez? Yes, I do. Sleaterkinneyfan: Oh, right. And miss out on all this fun? I know—after lunch, let’s ask the T.O.D. if that’s a hickey on her neck. 10 to 1 she’ll say it’s a bruise from the gym. Sleaterkinneyfan: You’re on. But YOU ask. I did it last time. Sleaterkinneyfan: Deal. Winner buys the bacon cheeseburgers.

Sleaterkinneyfan: Oh, all right. Sleaterkinneyfan: logged off Sleaterkinneyfan: logged off

Hi, you’ve reached the desk of Kathleen Mackenzie. I’m sorry I’m not able to take your call. I’m either on the other line, or away from my desk at the moment. At the tone, please leave a message, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Thank you!


Katie, it’s me. Dale. Listen. I got your message. Katie, I know we can work things out, if you’ll just give me another chance. I mean, I’m not saying I can change or anything, but I promise—I mean, it isn’t like there’s another girl, or anything. I mean, well, you know, there’s lots of girls, we’re a pretty popular band. There are girls around all the time. But there’s no special girl. I mean, more special than you. Aw, come on, Katie. You know I’m doing the best I can. But I’m just not the standing-up-in-church-in-a-tux-in-frontof-everyone-and-declaring-my-eternal-love-for-a-woman kind of guy. And you know it! I mean, is that the kind of guy you fell in love with back in Kentucky? Was it? No, it wasn’t. So cut me a little slack, will ya? And come home. I really miss you. Also, I can’t find my Clash T-shirt. Did you take it to the laundry-by-the-pound place? Because it’s like—

(Click) Hi, you’ve reached the desk of Kathleen Mackenzie. I’m sorry I’m not able to take your call. I’m either on the other line, or away from my desk at the moment. At the tone, please leave a message, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Thank you!


Kate, hi, it’s Dolly. Listen, sweetie, there’s been some sort of misunderstanding. Well, not a misunderstanding, exactly. It’s just that the new fax boy . . . Well, he and I ended up in what I believe is called acontretemps . . . at least inBazaarit is . . . and I’m afraid he might have gotten the wrong idea. And the truth is, darling, I honestly thought he was interested, but apparently, he plays for the other team—I can’t imagine what

happened, I used to be so good at telling them apart. Anyway, I think he’s going to file some sort of a . . . What’s it called again, Nadine? Oh, yes, sexual harassment suit against me. But honestly, darling, my hand just slipped. . . . Oh well, anyway. Call me. Maybe we can do lunch tomorrow, and talk. Ciao!


Hi, you’ve reached the desk of Kathleen Mackenzie. I’m sorry I’m not able to take your call. I’m either on the other line, or away from my desk at the moment. At the tone, please leave a message, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Thank you!


Okay, I found the shirt. It turns out Scroggs was using it to keep his cymbals from getting scratched. Anyway. The thing is, Kate . . . Okay. Here’s the thing. I really do love you. You know? And this is a really bad time for you to have, you know, moved out. Because like, we’ve got to make all these decisions . . . me and the band . . . and like, I’m not used to making decisions without you around to like, talk them through. Like I told you, they want to change our name to Sandwich? Well, also, they want Scroggs to shave his head. But I’m like—you know, a bald drummer, that is just derivative. But then these suits, you know, they were all, derivative of what, but like, I didn’t know. I could’ve really used your help there, you know? Yeah, whatever, I KNOW, I HEAR YOU GUYS, I’LL BE THERE IN A SECOND. . . . So. Whatever, Kate. If you could just, you know, call me. But not tonight, because we’ve got a gig. But like tomorrow. No, tomorrow’s no good either. Well, I’ll call you. I’ll—I SAID IN A MINUTE! I really love you, Kate. Stop being such a—

(Click) Hi, you’ve reached the desk of Kathleen Mackenzie. I’m sorry I’m not able to take your call. I’m either on the other line, or away from my desk at the

moment. At the tone, please leave a message, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Thank you!


Katie, honey? Hi, it’s Mom. Charlie and I have been trying to reach you, but it seems like you and Dale are never home anymore—everything is all right between you two, isn’t it?—Well, of course it is, I’m just being silly, I suppose. Anyway, I just thought I’d try you at work. I wanted to let you know we’re in Taos. That’s right, New Mexico! Oh, it’s just stunning here, sweetie. The view from the lot they assigned us is spectacular—this reallyis the way to see our country, just like the dealer said. Well, love you, and you have my cell phone number if you need to reach me. Love you!


Hi, you’ve reached the desk of Kathleen Mackenzie. I’m sorry I’m not able to take your call. I’m either on the other line, or away from my desk at the moment. At the tone, please leave a message, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Thank you! (Tone)

Hello, Ms. Mackenzie? This is Anne Kelly, Mitchell Hertzog’s assistant. Mr. Hertzog asked me to call you to try to set up a conference for pretrial discovery concerning you and an employee I believe your company terminated yesterday—Ida Lopez? Anyway, if you could call me back at your convenience so we could set up that appointment, I’d appreciate it. The number is 212-555-7900. Thank you so much.


To: Mitchell Hertzog Fr: Stacy Trent Re: You’ll never believe this one:

> Stuie’s getting married.

You lie.

What even makes you think I’m going to fall for this? I’m no naive housewife, you know. I mean, I am a housewife, but I’m not naive. I happen to be a good five years your senior, on top of which, we actually do get sarcasm out here now in Greenwich. I know it’s hard to believe, but it turns out sarcasm—and irony, even—have been imported to Connecticut from the city for years.

So quit lying like a rug and tell me why you didn’t call Mom for her birthday. Is it still the Janice thing? Mitch, you have got to let Janice fight her own battles. She’s not just our kid sister anymore, she’s over eighteen, and legally an adult.

Which, if you think about it, is something I should be telling Mom and not you, but whatever, I already told Mom, to no perceptible effect.

Oh, God, I’m as bad as you.

But at least I’m not spreading unfounded rumors about our esteemed eldest sibling. Haven’t I warned you about this before, Mitch? Use your impressive cerebral powers for good and not evil. Stuart is so beneath your intellectual capabilities. Making fun of him is like shooting fish in a barrel, it just isn’t worthy of your prodigious talents.

Now Mom, on the other hand . . .

Just kidding. Hey, are you coming out this weekend, or what? The kids were asking. And Jason’s been dying to show you this new putter he got. Or something golf related, anyway.


To: Stacy Trent Fr: Mitchell Hertzog Re: You hurt me Attachment: l Ida Lopez

Seriously, how can you imagine, even for a minute, that I would joke about something as deadly serious as the impending nuptials of our esteemed elder brother? I have it in writing from the Stu Meister himself (see attached e-mail, plus quote from it below):

> Amy Jenkins happens to be my fiancée—a word I’m aware you > wouldn’t understand, because you’ve never gone out with a woman > longer than a single basketball season.

See. I told you so. You know I could never make up anything that sounded half that smug.He’s getting married . To that harpy from the personnel office at theJournal.

Remember, the one he brought to your place for Thanksgiving dinner last year? Who went jogging after we finished, while the rest of us sat in catatonic stupors?

Yeah.That one. He’s marryingher.

Personally, I think there should be a law against strenuous exercise after a large holiday meal. But then, I would never agree to marry a blowhard like Stuie, so maybe it’s just me. And you don’t need me coming out there to visit all the time. You have your everescalating horde of in-laws to keep my nieces and nephew entertained.

Much love, Mitch

To: Mitchell Hertzog Fr: Stacy Trent Re: I am in shock

I can’t believe it. Stuart’s getting married. He’s actually going to share his much-vaulted millions with someone other than his dry cleaner and doorman. How can this be? Has there been a rift in the space-time continuum?

Of course, the fact that he’s marrying someone so heinous explains a lot. Did you know I actually overheard Amy Jenkins telling Mom that she thinks it’s a travesty that Martin Luther King’s birthday was made into a national holiday?

Mom, of course, agreed with her.

Have I mentioned that Jason asked me not to invite Stuart back for Thanksgiving next year? This is apparently on account of the half-hour lecture Stu gave him on the difference between a multepuciano and lungarotti. Jason’s actual words were that if he’d had to hear a second more about it, he’d have lunged at Stu’s rotti.

Which I thought rather witty myself. You know, for Jason.

Speaking of Jason, you’re right: I do love my in-laws dearly. The Trents cannot be rivaled for pure Kennedy-esque familial catfights. But for self-delusional psychodrama, no one can hold a candle to the Hertzogs. And that’s why it bothers me when you don’t come around more. It’s no fun laughing at Mom, Dad, and Stuart all by myself.

Oh, wait, I have an idea. Why don’t YOU get married? To someone fun. Then she and I can dish the dirt on Mom and Dad when you’re too busy to join me.

Just a suggestion.


To: Stacy Trent Fr: Mitchell Hertzog Re: Nice try . . .

. . . but law is definitely not the field to go into if you’re looking to meet a nice girl. So far the only women I’ve met since graduation are other lawyers . . . and of course the hookers I was defending.

No offense to any female lawyers you might have in your acquaintance, but I kind of preferred the hookers. I mean, at least they didn’t care what kind of shoes I had on.

Mitch Sleaterkinneyfan: What do I do???? There’s a message on my phone from Mitchell Hertzog’s assistant! She wants me to call to schedule an appointment for pretrial discovery! About Mrs. Lopez!!!!!! Sleaterkinneyfan: So? Schedule an appointment. Sleaterkinneyfan: But . . . I’m on Mrs. Lopez’s side. Sleaterkinneyfan: Better not let the T.O.D. catch you saying that. Sleaterkinneyfan: No worries. She’s not even here. She went to go meet the Stepford Wives at the Monkey Bar. I overheard her on the phone with one of them. Sleaterkinneyfan: Oh, you mean her sorority sisters. That’s right, they meet the first Thursday of every month. I can’t understand how they can bear to tear themselves away fromFriends . Isn’t Jennifer Aniston like the sorority girl icon of all time, or something? Sleaterkinneyfan: Hey. I like Jennifer Aniston. Sleaterkinneyfan: Whatever. Better make the appointment. And leave the T.O.D. a message to let her know you did it. Then let’s get out of here. There’s a sale at Nine West. Sleaterkinneyfan: But isn’t my cooperating with the paper’s soulless corporate lawyers tantamount to supporting the dismissal of Mrs. Lopez, an act which grates against every fiber of my being? Sleaterkinneyfan: You already lost your apartment. You want to be out of a job too? Sleaterkinneyfan: Roger. Over and out. From the Desk of Kate Mackenzie

Amy, just to let you know, I got a message from Mitchell Hertzog’s assistant, asking me to call to schedule an appointment to give a deposition concerning Ida Lopez’s grievance suit.

So I went ahead and scheduled an appointment for tomorrow morning at nine . . . which of course means I probably won’t be in to the office until after eleven or so.

I hope this is okay.


Kathleen A. MacKenzie Personnel Representative, LZ Human Resources The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019 212-555-6891

[email protected]

To: Paula Reznik ———————— Paula, I waited for you for half CVS Pharmacy an hour, then I finally gave up Thank you for shopping at CVS and left. You must have gotten Imitrex $10.00 held up. I tried your cell and Levlin-21 $10.00 got no answer. Hope you find Allegra $10.00 this note. I was really looking Total: $30.00 forward to seeing this apartPaid: $40.00 ment, too. Call me tomorrow Change: S10.00 so we can reschedule. Thanks! Kate P.S. Sorry, this was the only paper I could find.

The East Village’s Number-1 Destination for Live Music, All the Time Tonight’s Band: I’m Not Making Any More Sandwiches

Featuring: Dale Carter: Guitar, Vocals Jake Hartnett: Guitar, Vocals Marty Hicks: Bass Scroggs: Drums, Vocals

I’m Not Making Any More Sandwiches™ appears courtesy of Liberation Music Records

Playlist: Kate and Me

Random Acts of Kate

In the Bedroom with Kate

I Love U, Kate, for Now

Kate, Y Did U Leave Me

Chasing Kate

Come Back, Kate

Ice Weasels Gnaw My Brain

All songs, lyrics by Dale Carter & I’m Not Making Any More Sandwiches™

Y Won’t U B With Me, Kate? Oh, Kate, Y won’t U B with me? Kate, Don’t U know what U mean to me? I look at the dirty dishes piling up in the sink and all I can think is Kate U kept the place so clean Kate, I treated U like a queen

Oh, Kate, U mean the world to me Kate, Come home to me

Oh, Kate, Y can’t it B Like it used to B Because this world ain’t meant for lovers No, this world ain’t meant for U and me Because the bureaucrats in Washington, they’ll set off the bombs, so what’s the point, Kate? We’re all just going to die, anyway. So, Kate, Y won’t U B with me?

—Dale Carter, All Rights Reserved

Journal of Kate Mackenzie

Dale shoved another one of his songs about me under the door. This one was written on the back of a playlist. Craig found it when he got home today from the office. Seriously, what am I going to do about him? Dale, not Craig. I think eight songs about me is a little much (could “Ice Weasels Gnaw My Brain” be about me, too? No, surely not. I mean, what do I have to do with ice weasels? What ARE ice weasels? Are they real? Are there really weasels that live on ice? What do they eat?). Oh God, I have got to get some sleep, I can’t be groggy in the morning, I’ve to go get deposed by Stuart Hertzog’s brother. What am I even going to say to him? What if I accidentally let slip that I don’t think Mrs. Lopez should have been fired in the first place, and he tells the T.O.D. what I said? You so know he will, he’s Stuart Hertzog’s BROTHER. Stuart I’m-engaged-to-the-T.O.D. Hertzog. Plus he’s a lawyer. Lawyer + Stuart Hertzog’s brother = mean, evil person with no conscience or soul. He’ll tell Stuart, and Stuart’ll tell Amy, and then I’ll get fired. I’ll get fired just like Mrs. Lopez got fired. Only I don’t belong to a union, so I won’t even have anyone to defend me. I’ll just become a statistic, another member of Manhattan’s homeless, jobless community. Oh my God, I hate my life. Something has GOT to give. It’s just GOT to.

Deposition of Kathleen Mackenzie in case of Ida D. Lopez/United Staff Association of NYJ. Local 6884 vs. The New York Journal held at the offices of Hertzog Webber and Doyle 444 Madison Avenue, Suite 1505 New York, NY 10022 Appearances: Kathleen Mackenzie (KM) Mitchell Hertzog (MH) Recorded by Anne Kelly (AK) for later comparison with stenographer’s transcript Miriam Lowe, Shorthand Reporter and Notary Public within and for the State of New York

AK: Good morning, Ms. Mackenzie, thank you so much for coming. Please have a seat. May I get you a cup of coffee, tea, soda—whatever you prefer? KM: Coffee would be good, thanks. AK: Fine. Mr. Hertzog should be joining us in a second. I’ll just be a moment while I get your coffee. Do you take cream or sugar? KM: Yes, both, thank you. (Sound of door closing) (Sound of door opening) MH: Oh, sorry, wrong room. KM: No problem. (Sound of door closing) (Sound of door opening) MH: Wait a minute. You’re Katherine Mackenzie? KM: Kathleen. Kate, actually. MH: Oh, Kathleen. Sorry. I didn’t . . . I expected someone . . . KM: Yes? MH: Never mind. Nice to meet you. I’m Mitch Hertzog. KM:You’re Mitchell Hertzog? MH: Last time I checked. Why? KM: I . . . Nothing. I just—you’re not— MH: I think it’s safe to say neither of us is what the other expected. KM: It’s just that . . . Well, you don’t look anything like your brother. MH: Thank God. Sorry. It’s the tie, isn’t it?

KM: I’m sorry? Oh, the tie. Is that . . . Rocky and Bullwinkle? MH: ‘Fraid so. Gift from my nieces. KM: It’s . . . colorful. MH: I know it throws people when we turn out to have a sense of humor. KM: We? MH: Lawyers. Oh, I see Anne’s got the recorder going already. Where’d she go? KM: To get coffee. MH: Great. And here’s the stenographer. So I guess we can start— KM: Shouldn’t Mrs. Lopez be here? And her lawyer? MH: This is just a pretrial conference, not a deposition. I’ve found it’s good to get all the facts straight before moving on to any formal proceedings. Less surprises that way. That okay with you? KM: Sure. I guess. MH: Great. Like I said, I’m Mitchell Hertzog, and I’m representing theNew York Journal against Ida Lopez, for whom I understand you were . . . (Sound of papers shuffling) MH (con’t) . . . a personnel rep? KM: That’s right. Not for very long. I mean, I just started working at theJournal. MH: Is that right? When did you start working there? KM: Last fall. I was a social worker, with the city, before. MH: Really? But—excuse me for pointing it out—you obviously aren’t from around here— KM: Oh, no. My accent, you mean? I’m from Kentucky, actually. I just moved here, you know, after I got my degree. Social work. MH: I see. And if social work’s your thing, New York City’s the place to be? KM: Well, yes. That, and my boyfriend—ex-boyfriend—well, he’s a musician—

MH: Say no more. Did it work out better for him than it did for you? KM: I beg your pardon? MH: The social work thing. I mean, you’re not doing it anymore. KM: Oh. No. I took the job with theJournal because, you know, working for the city . . . it was kind of depressing. MH: Sure. KM: All these people, they don’t have anything, or any way, really, to make things better. And there were these programs, you know, to help them, but—I don’t know—it didn’t quite work out the way I thought it would. I mean, a lot of the programs got eliminated because the city ran out of money, or sometimes my clients didn’t qualify for them for whatever reason . . . and it just seemed like no matter how hard I tried, you know, things never got better, and there was really nothing I could do about it, and I took the job because I thought I could help make a difference. Only it turned out, I couldn’t. So I was going home every night and crying into my chicken in garlic sauce, and finally, it just seemed healthier to quit. MH: Chicken. In garlic sauce. KM: That sounded stupid, didn’t it? MH: Absolutely not. KM: No. It did. You’re just being nice. MH: I’m not. I swear I’m not. I’m not nice. (Sound of door opening) Oh, look. Here’s Anne with the coffee. AK: Here you go. MH: Cream or sugar, Ms.— KM: Kate. Both, thanks. I . . . oops. MH: Sorry about that. KM: No, it was my fault— MH: Here you go. Now, uh, where were we? Oh, yes. So you quit social work. . . .

KM: Oh, right. Well, my friend Jen got a job there right out of college, and when a position came up in her department, she recommended me. And I’ve been there ever since. I mean, it isn’t my dream job, or anything. We’re not really helping anybody. Well, maybe occasionally. But at least, you know, I don’t go home anymore and— MH: Cry into your chicken with garlic sauce. KM: Exactly. MH: Right. So I take it you inherited Ida from your predecessor? KM: Yes, I did. From Amy Jenkins. She’s my supervisor now. Ida’s file is, like, three inches thick. MH: So it would be safe to say that Ida was considered a troublemaker before you even got there. KM: Not a troublemaker, no. Not everything in Mrs. Lopez’s file is bad. There are letters in there from administrators saying how much they like her. She’s really—wasreally—very popular— MH: But not with everyone, clearly. KM: No. Not with everyone. But the people who didn’t like her were people who, you know, nobody else really liked. Mostly just people like Stuart Hertz— MH: Go on. KM: Um. No. Sorry. That’s it. That’s all I had to say. MH: You were saying something about Stuart Hertzog. KM: No, I wasn’t. MH: Yes, you were. KM: No, I wasn’t. I really wasn’t. MH: Kate, this is being recorded, remember? I can just play the tape back if you want. Also, Miriam’s taking it down. Miriam, could you read back to me Kate’s last— KM: Well, I was just saying. You know. How everybody at the paper really, really likes Mr. Hertzog. He’s very, very popular. MH: Kate. This is Stuart you’re talking about. No one likes Stuart. But what specific problem did Ida have with him?

KM: She won’t tell me. When Mrs. Lopez didn’t consider somebody worthy of her desserts, that was it. They just . . . you know. They were cut off. MH: And my brother being cut off was what? The last straw? KM: Well, she’d had a number of verbal warnings, and we’d sent her to, you know, customer service training. Several times. But I guess it never really took. But sometimes it takes more than just a couple of training sessions. Some people just need more time than others. It isn’t right to expect every single employee to be exactly the same. I mean, would you want people to expect you to be exactly the same as every other lawyer in the world, Mr. Hertzog? MH: Mitch. You can call me Mitch. And, uh, it seems to me like some people already do. KM: Which is not to say that I don’t completely understand why Mrs. Lopez did what she did, because you know, sometimes you give and you give and you give, and people, they just take, and take, and take, and you start feeling like you’re never going to get anything back, and you wait and wait for something, anything, any kind of acknowledgment, even the tiniest crumb, like, “Yeah, okay, I do want to be with you forever and not just, you know, till someone better comes along, and yeah, I’m an ex-pothead and I can only take it one day at a time, but you, I know I want you in my future.” Only it never comes. And the next thing you know, you’re looking at hellholes in Hoboken for eleven hundred a month and landlords named Ron won’t return your calls . . . er. I mean. What I mean is . . . MH: I think I get what you mean. KM: What I meant was, you know. Pie. MH: Exactly. Pie. KM: Yes. Mrs. Lopez, she’s human. And you know, clearly, she’d like people to show some appreciation for her hard work. But if people just, you know, take her pie and don’t even say, “Hey, nice pie,” they just scarf it down or whatever— MH: I could see how that would get to be annoying. I mean, if you’re constantly providing . . . pie. And getting no positive feedback— KM: Right! And what about your future? I mean, how do you know people are still going to want your pie in the future? Supposing they become a famous rock star or something. People are going to be offering them pie all over the place. If they haven’t promised only to eat your pie, well, where does that leave you? MH: With perfectly justifiable insecurities over your own self-worth. KM: Absolutely! See what I mean? I mean, it’s no wonder she cracked. Mrs. Lopez, I mean.

MH: Right. Mrs. Lopez. KM: So you see what I mean, then? It’s wrong to fire somebody because they had one bad day. And without even any warning. I mean, yes, she was on probation, but I think she still should have gotten a written warning first. Just to let her know. And then if she messed up again, we could have fired her. But to just fire her like that, for not giving someone pie . . . MH: Oh. Yes. Now I see what you mean. So there was no written warning? KM: No. Just the verbal. Not that I think theJournal was wrong to fire Mrs. Lopez. I mean, I would never say that. I love working at theJournal . I would never say anything to make theJournal look bad. MH: Don’t look so panicked, Kate. Nothing you say here is going to get back to your employer. KM: Yeah, but, I mean, the T.O.D.—I mean, Amy. She’s your brother’s fiancée. MH: She’s not here. KM: But . . . Never mind. MH: What you’re saying is that in your opinion, the firing of Ida Lopez wasn’t justified. KM: That’s not what I said. That’s not what I said at all. Is that what I said? MH: You said—excuse me, Miriam—It’s wrong to fire somebody because they had one bad day. KM: Well, it is. And okay, Mrs. Lopez had a bunch of bad days. But only because bad people— MH: Like my brother. KM: Oh my gosh. Is that the time? Really? Because I have to go. MH: Go? KM: Yes. I have to meet my broker. MH: Your broker? KM: My real-estate broker. See, I’m looking for an apartment, and it’s kind of, you know, urgent that I find a place soon, because right now I’m, like, staying on my friend Jen’s—I told you about Jen—well, I’m staying on her couch, but she and her husband, they’re trying to have a baby, so I need to get out of there, and I was supposed to see this place last night

but the broker never showed. But then she called and said if I could meet her at eleven this morning she’d let me in to see the place and so I really have to go, or if I can’t go now I need to call her and see if I can meet her after work. MH: Uh. Yeah. I guess . . . I guess we’re through here. Maybe you could leave your contact information with Anne, so if I have any follow-up questions— KM: Oh, sure. Thanks. It was nice to meet you. I hope I didn’t say anything—I mean, I didn’t mean to say anything bad about theJournal . Or your brother. I’m sure he’s, you know. A very nice person. MH: (Indecipherable) Don’t worry about it. I’ll show you the way out.

Hi, you’ve reached the voice mail of Jen Sadler. At the tone, please leave your name and number, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Bye!


Jen! It’s Kate! Oh my God, you are never going to believe—no, I’m sorry. I don’t have any spare change. Anyway, I went to that meeting this morning, you know, at Hertzog Webber and Doyle, and I—No, I really don’t have any spare change, I’m so sorry. What was I saying? Oh, yeah. I met his brother—you know the T.O.D’s fiancée—his brother—and oh my God, he’s so cute . . . I can’t believe I’m saying something like this about a lawyer . . . let alone a relative of Stuart Hertzog’s—Look, here, this is all I’ve got. Take it. Go ahead. Take it. Oh, my God, I’m not sure this is the best neighborhood, and I don’t know where the realtor is, and—No, I’m sorry, I gave all my money to that guy over there. Sorry. I—Oh, here’s Paula, thank GOD. I’ll call you later. Tell the T.O.D. I’ll be back by noon. If I’m not knifed by a crackhead first.


Journal of Kate Mackenzie Oh my God, that apartment was so hideous, I would rather sleep on Jen’s couch for the rest of my life than set foot in a place like that ever, ever again. What is WRONG with this city? It’s like they penalize you if you’re single and can’t afford to pay two grand a month for decent housing. Like it’s not enough of a stigma, not being in a romantic relationship. No, they have to make it a thousand times worse by making every studio apartment in the city be next door to an OTB and look out over an air shaft. And oh my God, what did I say to Mitchell Hertzog? It’s like I had diarrhea of the mouth, or something, I just kept talking and talking. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I mean, like I don’t have enough to worry about without jeopardizing my job, going around, saying the paper fires people unfairly. It’s just that he was so . . . cute! Why did he have to be so cute??? And nice . . . He wears ties his nieces buy for him! Oh, why couldn’t he have been an ogre, like his brother?

Wait a minute . . . he is. He IS an ogre, like his brother. Because what kind of person works for a place like that, a place that takes the side of corporate giants over poor little pie bakers like Mrs. Lopez? What kind of person would work for a place like that? I know he’s going to tell the T.O.D. what I said. Okay, well, maybe he won’t—And I don’t remember exactly what I said, anyway. Maybe I didn’t say anything so bad. . . . But somehow or other she’s going to find out, and I’m going to get fired, and it will be all my own fault, and oh my God, I HATE lawyers, they ruin EVERYTHING for EVERYONE and oh, why did he have to be so cute?

To: Dolly Vargas Fr: Mitchell Hertzog Re: Kate Mackenzie

I Googled her, but got nada. What do you know about her? Spill it. You owe me, remember?


To: Mitchell Hertzog Fr: Dolly Vargas Re: Kate Mackenzie

Mitch, darling, what a surprise! How ARE you? It’s been ages! I don’t think I ever did thank you properly for getting Julio out of that little jam with Immigration . . . goodness, it pays to be friends with a lawyer, doesn’t it?

Let me see now, about Kate . . . Isn’t that a coincidence? I happen to be VERY well acquainted with her. She’s my HR rep here at the paper.

Look, why don’t I call you in, say, five? I just got my tips done, and all this typing is not exactly good for them.

Ciao for now. . . .


P.S. She really is a doll, isn’t she? Sleaterkinneyfan: Thank God you’re back. It seemed like you were gone FOREVER. Now tell me about Stuart’s cute brother. How cute is he? He doesn’t have an abnormally large head, does he? It isn’t a family trait? Katydid:

Are you CRAZY? Stop I.M.-ing. She’s going to catch us. She’s been all over me ever since I got in.

Sleaterkinneyfan: Whatever. I’ll watch her, and if I see her log on, I’ll signal you. So. His head. Cartoonishly gargantuan, or what? How’s his butt? Katydid:

Totally normal-size head. I told you, he’s cute. I mean, for a lawyer.

Sleaterkinneyfan: Koala-bear cute? Or tie-him-to-the-bed cute? Katydid:

You are sick. But I might tie him to the bed. If I had one. A bed, I mean.

Sleaterkinneyfan: Butt, please. Katydid:

I didn’t look at his butt. Are you crazy? He’s a LAWYER. I mean, what does it matter what kind of butt he has when he has a job taking advantage of the disenfranchised?

Sleaterkinneyfan: Since when is Ida Lopez disenfranchised? She’s in a union, she makes more than I do, probably. Now I would like a description of his ass.


What does it matter? It’s not like he could ever be interested in me. I’m such a spaz. I mean, I started going off during my interview on this tangent about Dale. I didn’t say his name, or anything—Dale’s, I mean—but I don’t know. Giving a deposition is WEIRD. It’s so . . . personal. Everyone is looking at you. I mean, he was sitting right there, right across the table. I could have reached out and touched his hand. We DID touch hands at one point, when I spilled my coffee, and we both reached to wipe it off. He has really nice hands. And no wedding ring, either.


Okay, okay. Basic stats: height, about six one. Weight, you know, normal for being six one. He looked kind of . . . built, beneath the suit. It was kind of hard to tell. Plus everyone looks built compared to Dale. Nice suit, conservative, but coupled with a tie that had Rocky and Bullwinkle on it. . . .

Sleaterkinneyfan: You lie. Katydid:

I beg your pardon, but I do not. Rocky and Bullwinkle, as sure as I’m sitting here Instant Messaging you instead of working on the sexual harassment suit against Dolly Vargas. He says his nieces gave it to him. He’s also got dark hair, kind of on the long side, you know, compared to Stuart’s. I know because I ran into Stuart on my way out. Mitch is taller than Stuart. Also, his hair isn’t thinning like Stuart’s. Or graying. Also, he has this dimple in the middle of his chin. And green eyes. Really. Or maybe hazel. But they looked green. Did I say he had really nice hands?

Sleaterkinneyfan: Butt, please. Katydid:

I didn’t look at his butt!!!!!!

Sleaterkinneyfan: You lie. Katydid:

Okay. I looked. It was roundly supple.

Sleaterkinneyfan: Mmmmmmmmmm Katydid:

Hey! You’re married! You can’t be mmmming other guys’ butts!

Sleaterkinneyfan: That’s whatyou think. So. When are you going to see him again? Katydid:

I’M NOT! HE’S A MEAN CORPORATE LAWYER. I DON’T DATE MEAN CORPORATE LAWYERS. Or anyone, for that matter. My life is in enough upheaval.

Sleaterkinneyfan: I thought you said he has nice hands. Katydid:

He does. But what does it matter? You remember how those guys in

law school were back when we were in college. The keggers. The loafers with tassels. Please! And this one’s the enemy, remember? He’s out to get poor Mrs. Lopez! I could never date someone who made a living defending the likes of Peter Hargrave against the working-class slobs who are just trying to be treated fairly. No matter how tie-to-the-bed-able he might be. Sleaterkinneyfan: Liar. Katydid:

I’m not lying!

Sleaterkinneyfan: Ladies’ room. Now. Katydid:


Sleaterkinneyfan: Now. Someone’s got to slap some sense into you, and as usual, it looks like that someone’s gonna be me. Sleaterkinneyfan: logged off Katydid:

logged off

To: Amy Jenkins Fr: Courtney Allington Re: Last night

Ames, he’s a dream. You are SO lucky. And that ring . . . it’s gorgeous. We have GOT to get together for brunch and introduce our guys. Brad will just ADORE him. And then maybe you two can come to Aspen with us next December!

Where are you honeymooning? You HAVE to go to St. Bart’s. Brad’s family has a villa out there. They rent it out when they’re not using it—twenty thousand a week—but it comes with a full-time maid, cook, gardener, and chauffeur. It was divine, you simply have to go, it’ll be the perfect place to crack out that Burberry bikini you bought at last week’s BARNEY’s sale. I’ll ask Brad when the place is available.

Oh, your hair looks great. Are you still going to Bumble, or have you switched to Fekkai?

Love, Courts

To: Amy Jenkins Fr: Heather van Giles Lester Re: Mrs. Stuart Hertzog (!!!!)

Oh my God, you and Stuart are SO perfect together. He’s tall and broad, and you’re so petite. All that jogging is REALLY paying off, Ames. I can’t believe you’re the same little Ames who packed on all those pounds our frosh year. Then again, you DO have to watch it, coming from a heavy family. How are they, anyway? I hope they aren’t still upset over that whole not-being-invited to graduation thing, are they? I mean, seriously, Ames, how COULD you have invited them? They wouldn’t have fit at the table.

Anyway, just so you know, I went home and Googled Stuart—I know! I’m so bad!—and found out all about Hertzog Senior, and I’m telling you, you have nothing to worry about, the family’s good for ten million at least, maybe even more, if you count the crazy mom’s doll collection. They’ve got a condo in Scottsdale, and another in Tahoe, and a house in Ojai.

Girlfriend, you SCORED!!!

Let’s do lunch next week. Oh, did you hear? Courts wants to throw an engagement party for you. But I’ve got dibs on the lingerie shower!

Kisses, Heath

To: Amy Jenkins Fr: Mary Beth Kellogg Sneed Re: Congratulations

Ames, I’m so happy for you. He’s a real sweetie—I love how he told off that waiter for bringing us the wrong year of that merlot (they really DO think they own the city, don’t they?) And your ring is gorgeous. If you want to get matching diamond studs and a pendant, you HAVE to see John at Harry Winston. He’s the BEST.

A few things you might want to consider, though: genetic testing . . . you know, just to make sure neither of you are carriers of anything nasty . . . although I’m sure you aren’t. But you never know.

And secondly—his name. I mean, HERTZOG? See if he’d be willing to drop the OG. There is nothing wrong with being a Hertz, you know. . . . Look at Hertz rental cars.

Just a couple of things you might not have thought of.

Oh, you’re going to be the most beautiful bride! The Pilates is really giving you definition in your upper arms, just like I said it would. I hope you’ll enjoy this, the most magical time in your life. Every girl should be as pretty a bride as you’re going to be, Ames! Let me know if you want help scheduling an appointment at Vera’s. I know her cousin personally.



THE NEW YORK JOURNAL New York City’s Leading Photo-Newspaper Features Division The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019

Human Resources Division The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019

We, the undersigned, demand the immediate reinstatement of Ida Lopez to her post in Food Craft Services for the senior-staff dining room. We feel that her dismissal is detrimental to the temperament and overall well-being of the paper’s staff. Additionally, this morning there were no muffins or scones to go with our coffee. Some of us were forced to go for Krispy Kreme doughnuts across the street. If pastries continue to be unavailable in the senior-staff dining room, and we are forced to continue to leave the building for Krispy Kremes, HR could find themselves looking at disastrously high insurance rates, due to personnel possibly being struck by buses and/or bicycle messengers while venturing from the building in search of breakfast treats.

Furthermore, the saturated fat content of a single glazed Krispy Kreme is approximately 22 grams, twice that of a whole bag of M&Ms. Continued ingestion of said Krispy Kremes could lead to catastrophic health-care costs asJournal employees are felled by diabetes and/or heart disease.

In conclusion, reinstating Ida Lopez as dessert supplier of the senior staff dining room will save the company millions in health-care and insurance costs, and lower the cholesterol and overall discontent of the paper’s staff. Please do what you can to see that Ida Lopez is returned to her post. Thank you.

Melissa Fuller-Trent George Sanchez Dolly Vargas Tim Grabowksi James Chu Nadine Wilcock-Salerno

To: Amy Jenkins Fr: Penny Croft Re: Ida Lopez

Ms. Jenkins:

Mr. Hargrave was somewhat disturbed this morning when he went to the senior-staff dining room and found that Ida Lopez, who normally supplies and runs the dessert cart, was not present. He was even more disturbed when, upon inquiring as to the whereabouts of Mrs. Lopez, he learned she had been let go. Surely this isn’t true? You may not be aware of the fact that Mr. Hargrave has quite a sweet tooth, and has become quite fond of Mrs. Lopez’s cinnamon rolls. I do hope you can get to the truth of this matter, and let me know when we can expect Mrs. Lopez back at her cart.


Penny Croft Assistant to Peter Hargrave Founder and CEO of The New York Journal

To: Mitchell Hertzog Fr: Stuart Hertzog Re: Ida Lopez

I just received a phone call from Amy. She is extremely upset. She said she just discovered that you’d scheduled a pretrial discovery conference with one of her staff members.

You deposed one of Amy’s employees this morning without checking with me first? After I specifically asked you to keep me informed on the status of the case, you went ahead and saw one of Amy’s employees behind my back?

Don’t think this is the last you’re going to hear about this.

Stuart Hertzog, Senior Partner Hertzog Webber and Doyle, Attorneys at Law 444 Madison Avenue, Suite 1505 New York, NY 10022 212-555-7900

To: Stuart Hertzog Fr: Mitchell Hertzog Re: Ida Lopez

Stuie, you need to relax. You’re going to have a coronary if you keep carrying on this way over every little thing I do. I can give you some breathing exercises I learned from a yogi when I was in India, if you want.

You asked me to take this case for you, and I did. But if you want me to win it in my usual stellar manner, you’re going to have to let me do things my own way.

What’s the big deal, anyway? So I talked to one of your fiancée’s employees without you— or Amy—being in attendance. What, the world is going to end now?

Oh, and when you speak to Dad about me, be sure to bring up—one more time—the thing about how I totaled your Beamer in the tenth grade. Because I really don’t think you’ve run that one into the ground yet.

Give my love to Mom, too, when you speak to her. Which I assume you’re going to do as soon as Dad doesn’t pick up. You know he never answers his cell when he’s on the green.


To: Stacy Trent Fr: Margaret Hertzog Re: Your Brother

Stacy, I received a very disturbing phone call from your eldest brother just now. Apparently, Mitchell is up to his old tricks. He is giving Stuart a very hard time about his fiancée. (You did hear that Stuart is engaged? Janice says you told her. God knows no one in this family ever tells ME anything, but why should they, as I’m only their mother? But anyway, Stuart’s marrying that nice Amy Jenkins he brought to your house for Thanksgiving.)

In any case, Stacy, as the only one in the family who has ever had a modicum of influence over Mitchell, I’m asking you—no, telling you—to please try to do something about Mitchell’s attitude. He has upset his brother very, very much. And after everything we’ve been through this year with Janice—did you know she dyed her hairgreen ? And is insisting we call her Sean? As if there were anything wrong with the name we gave her—I am very much looking forward to planning this wedding between Stuart and Amy. If anything should happen to put it in jeopardy, I’ll probably have to be institutionalized. Please don’t allow Mitchell to rob me of the single joy I have left in life.

With love, Mom

Dear Katie,

Hello! I wanted to say thank you so much for all you have done for me. I know it is not your fault I was fired. So I baked this bundt cake for you. I hope you like it. I have enclosed the recipe. Since I know girls your age don’t bake anymore, I tried to make it simple for you. I think if you try making this cake for any man, he will marry you in a second flat. But not that ex-boyfriend of yours, he is no good for you.

All my love,


1 pkge instant chocolate fudge pudding mix ½ cup cooking oil 4 eggs ½ cup sour cream ½ cup warm water 1 12-oz pkge chocolate chips, semisweet 1 pkge dark chocolate fudge or devil’s food cake mix (not with pudding added)

Grease and flour a bundt or angel food cake pan (use cocoa instead of flour to avoid white coating on cake). Mix everything together except eggs and chips. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well. Fold in chips. Put in greased and floured bundt or angel food cake pan. Bake at 350°F for one hour. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Carefully insert a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen cake. Remove from pan and cool completely. Serve drizzled with melted dark chocolate or covered with powdered sugar. Serves 12.

To: Jen Sadler Fr: Kate Mackenzie Re: Cake

CAKE! Ida left me cake! Come have some!


To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Jen Sadler Re: Cake

Um, I think that is the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Why do you get all the luck?

Oh no, here comes Reception . . . It’s amazing how they can smell cake from seemingly miles away. They’re like cadaver dogs, or something. Only they sniff out dessert.

To: Jen Sadler Fr: Kate Mackenzie Re: Cake


To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Amy Jenkins Re: Ida Lopez

Please forward I. Lopez’s personnel file and all of its contents to me.

Please note that in the future, you are NOT to meet with Mitchell Hertzog, or anyone involved in the Lopez case, without myself present as well.

Please also note that as an employee of this corporation, you are forbidden from accepting gifts and/or food items from current or former clients. It is simply a matter of ethics, Kate. Kindly refuse Mrs. Lopez’s cakes in the future.

Amy Denise Jenkins Director Human Resources The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019 212-555-6890 [email protected]

This e-mail is intended only for the use of the individual to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged and confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this transmission in error; any review, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this transmission is prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by reply e-mail and delete this message and all of its attachments. Katydid:

Get this! Even if he didn’t think I was a complete spaz and asked me out, I couldn’t go. The T.O.D. says I can’t meet with Mitchell Hertzog again unless she’s present!!!!

Sleaterkinneyfan: Please. The T.O.D. can’t even find last year’s salary-increase recommendations. You really think she’s going to know if you’re seeing some guy? Katydid:

Still. Where does she get off? Also, she said I can’t take any more cakes from Ida. If she makes me any more, that is.

Sleaterkinneyfan: In the ladies’ you said you weren’t interested in Mitch that way anyway, so what do you care? Except about the cake. That I can understand. Katydid:

I’m not. Interested in him. I mean, why should I be? He clearly thinks I’m this huge Kentuckian loser, the way I was dribbling on about . . . oh my God, chicken in garlic sauce. CHICKEN IN GARLIC SAUCE!!!!!!! I was going on and on about it. What is WRONG with me???

Sleaterkinneyfan: You know, the really amazing thing isn’t that you dated Dale for ten years: It’s that you two ever got together at all. With your self-esteem issues and his addiction to hallucinogens, you two so should have been voted Least Likely to Hook Up with Anyone, Ever. Katydid:

Hey! Come on!

Sleaterkinneyfan: Sorry. It’s the hormones. I swear. But seriously, Kate. This is the first guy whose HANDS you’ve found attractive since you realized Dale wasn’t Mr. Right after all. That has to mean something. I say, go for it. Katydid:

Go for WHAT? I told you, I am ethically opposed to everything Mitchell Hertzog stands for. And besides which, he thinks I’m a spaz, and Amy says I can’t see him again without her permission!

Sleaterkinneyfan: Oh my God, haven’t you been listening to a word I’ve said? Amy Jenkins is T.O.D., not G.O.D. She’s not capable of tracking your every movement— AmyJenkinsDir:

logged on


Ladies. Have I or have I not spoken to you about Instant Messaging during business hours?

Sleaterkinneyfan: logged off Katydid:

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Sleaterkinneyfan: logged on Katydid:

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Sleaterkinneyfan: I hate her.


She’s the one with the self-esteem issues.

THE NEW YORK JOURNAL New York City’s Leading Photo-Newspaper Amy Denise Jenkins Director Human Resources The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019 212-555-6890 [email protected]

MEMO To: All Administrative Staff, All Divisions Fr: Amy Jenkins, Director, Human Resources Re: Internet Code of Conduct—Statement of Company Policy


Access to the Internet and the availability of e-mail has been provided for the benefit of employees of theNew York Journal and its clients. It allows employees to connect to information resources and is a communication tool. Its purpose is for employees to conduct official company business, or to receive technical or analytical advice. E-mail may be used for business contacts and for inter-office communications. Every employee of the company has a responsibility to maintain and enhance the company’s public image, and to use the

Internet in a productive and professional manner. The following guidelines have been established for using the Internet and inter-office e-mail:

Acceptable Uses of the Internet Employees accessing the Internet are representing theJournal . All communications should be professional. Reading reality-show recaps is not a professional use of the Internet. Ditto rating people Use of the Internet must not disrupt the operation of the company network. It must not interfere with productivity. Employees are responsible for seeing that the Internet is used in an effective, ethical, and lawful manner.

Communications Each employee is responsible for the content of all text, audio or images that they place or send over the Internet. Fraudulent, harassing, or obscene messages are prohibited. All messages communicated on the office network should have your name attached. No messages will be transmitted under an assumed name. No abusive, profane, or offensive language is transmitted through the system. Employees who wish to express personal opinions in e-mail may not do so using the Company system, nor during Company time under their own usernames.

Harassment Harassment of any kind is prohibited. No messages with derogatory or inflammatory remarks about an individual or group’s race, religion, national origin, political party affiliation, physical attributes, work performance, or sexual preference will be transmitted via the Company’s network.

Violations Violations of any guidelines herein may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

To: Jen Sadler Fr: Kate Mackenzie Re: Internet Code of Conduct—Statement of Company Policy

DO YOU THINK SHE’S TALKING ABOUT US????? I think she’s talking about US.


To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Jen Sadler Re: Internet Code of Conduct—Statement of Company Policy

Well, I highly doubt this was directed at Peter Hargrave.

Doesn’t she realize she is slowly draining the life from us, until soon we’ll be nothing but dried husks, formerly known as personnel reps?

God, I wish she’d get hit by a bus.


P.S. You should go out with him. If he asks. Soulless-lawyer-for-corporate-raider thing aside. He had on a Rocky and Bullwinkle tie. Rocky and Bullwinkle!!!!

To: Stacy Trent Fr: Stuart Hertzog Re: Mitch

Stacy, I know you have some—though not much—influence over Mitch. Still, that’s more than I can say about anybody else in this family. Except for maybe Janice. But the last thing Mom wants is Janice talking to Mitch any more than she does already. Did you know the guy actually told her that a good way to keep her bhang from staining her dorm-room carpet is to Scotchguard the rug before she moves all her stuff in? What kind of person SAYS that to their nineteen-year-old sister?

It’s no wonder she had to move back home.

Anyway, I would appreciate your talking to him about this case with the pie lady at theJournal . I asked him to take it because I’m personally involved. But Mitch seems to be . . . well, taking it far too seriously. To explain: I mean, he’s already dragging Amy’s employees into depos. He had a pretrial discovery conference with one of them this morning, and failed to notify either Amy or me: Amy and I didn’t know anything about it! Worse, I think . . . I’m almost sure . . . he’s interested in her. The employee. Not Amy.

You know that look he had in his eye when he came home from Kuala Lampur? Remember?

Well, I saw that same look in his eye when he was escorting the young lady in question out of Dad’s conference room today.

Stacy, you have to do something. If he starts messing around with this girl . . . Well, let’s just say Amy’s job is already on the line because of this mess. Apparently, Peter Hargrave, the paper’s owner, was a big fan of this pie lady’s muffins, or something. But how was I to know that? The woman was completely incompetent, and rude besides.

But if Mitch starts messing with this woman from Amy’s office . . . it won’t be just Amy who could lose her job. Dad’ll probably have another coronary. I’m not kidding, Stace. The last thing Webber and Doyle are going to stand for is one of Dad’s kids sticking his youknow-what in the company ink. . . .

So talk to him, would you? Tell him you don’t think it’s a good idea for him to start seeing anyone right now, with things so up in the air with Janice, Dad’s heart condition, my wedding, and so forth. Remind him that it isespecially unethical to start seeing someone who happens to be involved in one of the cases he’s trying. Particularly THIS case. Which could get very, very ugly.

Thanks, Stace. I knew I could depend on you.

Love, Stuart

Stuart Hertzog, Senior Partner Hertzog Webber and Doyle, Attorneys at Law 444 Madison Avenue, Suite 1505 New York, NY 10022 212-555-7900

To: Stuart Hertzog Fr: Stacy Trent Re: Mitch

First of all, Janice didn’t “have to” move back home. Mom and Dad made her move back home, okay? They made her leave school, and for a reason that is so ludicrous, I don’t even want to get into it with you.

Second of all, I will not be drawn in to whatever petty fight you and Mitch are having today. I’m sick of it. I have my own problems. Like how my son positively refuses to use his potty. Okay? Finding diapers big enough to fit a thirty-pound kid? THAT is a problem. Mitch making google eyes at your fiancée’s employee? Not my problem.

Besides, what makes you think this is going to be like that time in Kuala Lampur? Mitch was nineteen when he lived in Kuala Lampur. That was ten years ago. I think he’s matured a little since then.

So . . . I guess I should say congratulations on the whole wedding thing. So. Congratulations. Are you two planning on a big ceremony, or what? In the city, or here in Greenwich? Or at her family’s place? Where’s she from, anyway?


To: Stacy Trent Fr: Stuart Hertzog Re: Mitch

Stacy, you know how I never told on you that time you locked me in the trunk of Mom’s Mercedes?

If you don’t do something about Mitch, I will be forced to take more drastic measures.

And if you think Mom’s going to leave you her antique Madame Alexander doll collection when she hears about that—especially considering the fact that I had an ear infection at the time—well, you’re delusional. Stuart

P.S. About the wedding, we’re still working out the details. But definitely not in her hometown (she’s from Texas) as she no longer speaks to her parents, due to a falling out back when she was in college.

Stuart Hertzog, Senior Partner Hertzog Webber and Doyle, Attorneys at Law 444 Madison Avenue, Suite 1505 New York, NY 10022 212-555-7900

To: Stuart Hertzog Fr: Stacy Trent Re: Mitch

I never wanted Mom’s stupid Madame Alexander doll collection in the first place. I don’t know where she ever got the idea I did.

P.S. How can someone who works in Human Resources not have spoken to her family since she was in college? I mean, isn’t she supposed to be some kind of expert in human relations? To have gotten her job in the first place? And she can’t even keep the lines of communication to her own family open?

Who is this girl anyway? Dr. Laura?

To: Stacy Trent Fr: Stuart Hertzog Re: Mitch

All right, you might not want the Madame Alexander dolls (a collection appraised at over $50,000, but fine, if you don’t want it, you don’t want it). But I assume you still want Mom to look after Haley, Brittany, and Little John when your anniversary rolls around next month. Weren’t you two planning a little April-in-Paris getaway? I wonder how willing Mom’s going to be to take in the grandkids when she hears how you wouldn’t help me out with Mitch. . . .

I guess you could leave the kids with Jason’s parents. . . . Oh, but wait. Isn’t his father in jail? And his mother . . . Where is she again? Biarritz? With her third husband? Or is it her fourth? And didn’t he just turn twenty-five?


P.S. Amy happens to have numerous very loving and warm relationships. Just not with any of her blood relatives. But she gets along great with the families of many of her sorority sisters. Many of whom I met at the Monkey Bar last night, and who are eagerly looking forward to our wedding. Unlike, I might add, my own relations, whose congratulations have been perfunctory, at best. Janice still hasn’t even called.

Stuart Hertzog, Senior Partner Hertzog Webber and Doyle, Attorneys at Law 444 Madison Avenue, Suite 1505 New York, NY 10022 212-555-7900

To: Stuart Hertzog Fr: Stacy Trent Re: Mitch

I hate you.

P.S. So does Janice.

To: Mitchell Hertzog Fr: Stacy Trent Re: Stuart = Satan’s Spawn

So. Heard from Mom and Stuart already. Sounds like you’ve had a busy day.


To: Stacy Trent Fr: Mitchell Hertzog Re: Stuart = Satan’s Spawn

Busy, and profitable. There are times when I really, really love my job. Today would be one of those times.


To: Mitchell Hertzog Fr: Stacy Trent Re: Stuart = Satan’s Spawn

I heard. Stuart did happen to mention that you deposed one of Amy Jenkins’s oppressed flunkies this morning. I take it it went well. Stuart seems to think you found the flunkie . . . ahem, worth your valuable time. True? False? Or do you plead the Fifth?


To: Stacy Trent Fr: Mitchell Hertzog Re: Uh-oh

Stuart’s making you ask, huh? God, he’s transparent. Well, you can tell him from me that I found his fiancée’s employee most agreeable.

That ought to kill him.


To: Mitchell Hertzog Fr: Stacy Trent Re: Uh-oh

Oh my God. The last woman I heard you describe as agreeable was that stewardess you met in Kuala Lampur. And remember how THAT turned out? Stace

P.S. Stuart’s not the one I’m worried about. It’s Dad, actually.

To: Stacy Trent Fr: Mitchell Hertzog Re: Uh-oh

Yes, but I am older and wiser now, and no longer prone to be impressed by surgical enhancement. Mitch

P.S. Since when does Dad care who I find agreeable? Since when does Dad care about anything except making par?

To: Mitchell Hertzog Fr: Stacy Trent Re: Uh-oh

Oh my God. You HAVE got it bad. What’s her name?


P.S. Um, does a triple bypass just eight months ago ring a bell?

To: Stacy Trent Fr: Mitchell Hertzog Re: Uh-oh

Her name is Kate.

Tell Jason I went ahead and reserved an 8 a.m. tee time tomorrow for us at New Canaan. If you’ll deign to let him out of the house. And I don’t care if it’s snowing, we’re still going.


P.S. Tell Stuart to mind his own business.

To: Mitchell Hertzog Fr: Stacy Trent Re: Kate

Screw tee times in New Canaan. Get back to the girl. I’m a housewife with three kids, one of whom still isn’t potty trained. To me, romance is a quickie once a week while the kids are glued to SpongeBob SquarePants. If I’m lucky. Now spill it. What’s she like? I thought you hated MBA types.


P.S. I did. He threatened to tell on me about the Mercedes thing.

To: Stacy Trent Fr: Mitchell Hertzog Re: Kate

No, I hate other lawyers. Besides, she isn’t an MBA. She’s a BA. In social work. And thanks for sharing that SpongeBob SquarePants thing. Because I really needed to know that about my big sister.

And in answer to your query, from what I could tell during the incredibly brief interlude we shared this morning in Dad’s conference room, and what I have gathered from a former client of mine who happens to know her, Kate is kind and pure of heart, and recently broke up with her no-good rock-musician boyfriend, and likes chicken with garlic sauce.

Oh, and she’s blonde. And from Kentucky. And probably about as unlikely as any girl I’ve ever met ever to date a lawyer—especially one who works for a client like Peter Hargrave. Hope that helps. Tell Jason they swear to me that the snow on the seventh green is melting. Also, if you want, I’ll come over afterwards and teach Little John how to pitch. Just so he doesn’t embarrass himself when he starts kindergarten, throwing like his dad. I mean, like a girl.


P.S. The Mercedes thing? Again? Oh, what, and Mom threatened not to leave you her dolls?

To: Mitchell Hertzog Fr: Stacy Trent Re: Kate

Um, Mitch, not to burst your bubble, but Little John is two. Okay? He isn’t going to start kindergarten for at least three more years.

But of course you’re welcome to come by anytime. Fair warning, however: Jason’s brother—Little John’s namesake—and his wife Mel will be over in the afternoon with their new baby. I know how you tend to feel baby-overload if there is more than one set of Pampers in the room at a time, so I wanted to make sure you had time to prepare yourself mentally.

I know—why don’t you ask Kate to come along? She probably doesn’t like lawyers because she’s never really known one. Once she gets to know you, she’ll warm up to you. And what better way to show how sweet and cuddly lawyers can be than to see one in the bosom of his family? She could take the train up, and you can pick her up at the station after your golf game and bring her here. Then we can break out those expensive bottles of wine Stuart had his assistant send us for Christmas, and toast him and his bride-to-be. And it’ll be really fun because Stuart and Amy won’t actually BE here. Come on, it’ll be great. Say you’ll invite her.


P.S. I’ll be sure to pass your assessment of my husband’s throwing skills on to him. I’m guessing he’ll be immensely flattered.

P.P.S. Yes about the dolls.

To: Stacy Trent Fr: Mitchell Hertzog Re: Kate

Nice try, but if you think any guy is going to bring a girl he’s only met once in a professional setting home to meet his family, then can I just say that you have been out of the singles scene for a very, very long time? No offense, Stace, but I think you and Jason need to dump the kids on Mom and grab a weekend in Miami or something. The whole quickie-during-Spongebob thing has warped your idea of what romance actually is.

Allow me to assure you that the chances of my bringing any girl out to meet you and Jason and the kids . . . not to mention some of your many in-laws—even decent ones like John and Mel—before we’ve even—

Well, you can forget about it.

And now I have to go over to the offices of our future sister-in-law to inquire of her, in person, why she hasn’t returned any of my assistant’s calls asking her to schedule an appointment for her pretrial discovery conference.

And if I should happen, upon my way there, to run into Kate, you’ll undoubtedly hear all about it from Stuart, who’ll get it from Amy, so why should I trouble myself?

See you tomorrow.


P.S. Really, Stace. You’ve got to stop letting them push you around. I’ll take care of the freaking kids while the two of you are in Paris next month. Okay?

P.P.S. Yeah, I knew. Mom’s been talking about it nonstop. You think I am not aware that she’s holding canceling on you like an anvil over your head? Relax. The kids love me. We’ll have a blast. And that whole thing with Little John’s first word—look, I told you, it just slipped out. The guy came at us from out of nowhere. It’s a wonder we weren’t killed. And wouldn’t you rather your son’s first word be of the four-letter variety than some boring Mamma or Dadda thing? Wouldn’t you?

New York Journal Employee Incident Report Name/Title of Reporter: Carl Hopkins, Security Officer

Date/Time of Incident: Friday, 3:30 p.m.

Place of Incident: NY JournalLobby

Persons Involved in Incident: Dale Carter, no affiliation with the paper, 26 Mitchell Hertzog, outside legal counsel, 29 Kathleen Mackenzie, Human Resources, 25

Nature of Incident: D. Carter attempted to enter building to give large bouquet of roses to K. Mackenzie. C. Hopkins stopped D. Carter at security desk and told him to wait for K. Mackenzie to come down to sign him in. K. Mackenzie, when contacted, said would not come down. C. Hopkins told D. Carter to leave. D. Carter would not leave. D. Carter said would wait until K. Mackenzie exited building for the day. C. Hopkins informed D. Carter that no loitering in lobby allowed.

D. Carter again said would not leave. D. Carter sat down in middle of lobby. C. Hopkins contacted K. Mackenzie. Told K. Mackenzie that D. Carter would not leave. K. Mackenzie came downstairs. K. Mackenzie asked D. Carter to leave. D. Carter said would not leave until K. Mackenzie listened to his new song. D. Carter began to sing song (Why Won’t You Be With Me, Kate). M. Hertzog entered building. M. Hertzog approached K. Mackenzie. M. Hertzog asked K. Mackenzie if there was a problem. D. Carter finished song. K. Mackenzie said Nice song now please leave. D. Carter said would not leave until K. Mackenzie agreed to move back in with him. M. Hertzog said I think the lady asked you to leave, now go. D. Carter said Mind your own business. M. Hertzog said Are you for real? D. Carter said Try me and find out, Suit Boy. K. Mackenzie told D. Carter if he did not leave she would notify local precinct and have D. Carter arrested for trespass. D. Carter said did not care and would not leave until K. Mackenzie agreed to move back in with him. Also said would hit Suit Boy (M. Hertzog). K. Mackenzie directed Security to notify local precinct. Local precinct notified by C. Hopkins. D. Carter began new song (Kate, Why Did You Leave Me)

Officers from local precinct arrived. D. Carter finished song. Crowd in lobby applauded. D. Carter put under arrest by officers from local precinct. D. Carter removed from premises by officers from local precinct. Crowd in lobby booed. K. Mackenzie requested D. Carter be listed as Persona Non Grata at 216 W. 57th Street. PNG form filled out by C. Hopkins (see attached).

Follow-up: Incident recorded, sent to A. Jenkins in Human Resources.

THE NEW YORK JOURNAL New York City’s Leading Photo-Newspaper Security Division The New York Journal 216 W. 57th Street New York, NY 10019 212-555-6890

MEMO To: All Personnel Fr: Security Administration Re: Persona Non Grata TheNew York Journal

Persona Non Grata Notification

Please note that the below-named individual has been classified as Persona Non Grata in 216 W. 57th Street as of the date of this notification, and will continue to remain so indefinitely. This individual is not to be allowed on or near the premises of 216 W. 57th Street at any time during the term of above sanction.

Name: Dale C. Carter SS#: Unknown Description: (place copy of ID picture if possible) White male, 26 years of age 6 feet, 175 lbs Blond hair, blue eyes Seeks contact with Kathleen Mackenzie, Personnel Rep, Human Resources, 3rd floor

This individual is not deemed dangerous, however, is prone to cause disturbances by singing and refusing to vacate premises when asked. Contact Security immediately upon sighting of above individual.

Journal of Kate Mackenzie Oh my God, I can’t believe it, I am totally MORTIFIED. I can’t believe Dale did that. That seriously has to be the most humiliating thing that has ever happened to me in my life . . . except for maybe when I accidentally walked in on Jen and Craig going at it in the kitchen the other day. . . .I seriously need to find another place to live.

But anyway. About today. And in front of Stuart Hertzog’s brother, too! I mean, he saw— and heard—the whole thing! Suit Boy! Dale actually called him that! He was just trying to help, and Dale called him Suit Boy! He must think I’m a complete whack job now. Or worse, he’s probably feeling sorry for Dale. He’s probably thinking I’m this coldhearted bitch. “The guy wrote this great song about her and she won’t even give him a second chance. Well, I certainly won’t make the mistake of asking out someone as mean as she is.” God! Like I ever even had a hope that he might. Ask me out, I mean. I mean, look at me! I’m sitting in a phone booth—A PHONE BOOTH—in the lobby, hiding from my coworkers . . . and from him. What kind of freak does that? Hides in phone booths? I mean, besides Superman?And he doesn’t hide in phone booths. He changes clothes in them. Only don’t ask me how, there’s barely enough room in here for me to move my pen, let alone put on a leotard. Oh God, WHY can’t I ever just behave like a normal person in front of cute guys? Why? Now any hope I might have had of passing myself off as a savvy career woman—not that I probably lost all chance at that during that depo I gave him (chicken in garlic sauce? What was I thinking???)—in front of him is totally gone. Not that I ever thought the two of us—I mean, Mitchell and I—God, it’s so weird to think that he’s Stuart Hertzog’s brother. Still, I mean, there’s no denying the guy is cute, and I thought, well, I just thought, you know, if I saw him again, maybe . . . Oh God, I don’t know what I thought. But I certainly never thought I’d be standing next to him in the lobby of my place of employment while I was listening to my ex-boyfriend singing about his heartache over my leaving him. And now, frankly, whatever I thought is completely moot. I mean, cute, high-powered lawyers—even ones with Rocky and Bullwinkle ties given to them by their nieces—don’t ask out girls whose lives are in COMPLETE AND UTTER DISARRAY, like mine.

To: Jen Sadler Fr: Kate Mackenzie Re: What just happened downstairs

Please shoot me.


To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Jen Sadler Re: What just happened downstairs

Okay, normally I would be saying you are making a mountain out of a molehill, but this time, I think you really do have something to worry about. Is it true he really SANG?


To: Jen Sadler Fr: Kate Mackenzie Re: What just happened downstairs

Oh yes, he sang. Jen, what am I going to do?


To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Jen Sadler Re: What just happened downstairs

It IS kind of funny. I mean, if you look at it in a certain way. That Mitchell Hertzog should happened to have walked in at that very moment . . .

It’s just so . . . you.


To: Jen Sadler Fr: Kate Mackenzie Re: What just happened downstairs

Oh, ha, ha, I’m laughing. WHY is it that I can never seem to project a cool and put-together demeanor, like Amy, in front of the people I most want to impress? I mean, do you have to have been born without a soul like the T.O.D. in order to achieve some semblance of professionalism in the workplace? Is that it?


To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Jen Sadler Re: Why it is that you can never seem to project a cool and put-together demeanor

I don’t know, but here’s your big chance. HE just walked in. And may I just say, your description does not do him the slightest justice. I wouldn’t have known him, if it hadn’t been for the tie. The guy is HANDCUFF-to-the-bed hot!

To: Jen Sadler Fr: Kate Mackenzie Re: He who?

What are you talking—OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!! It’s HIM!!!!!!!!!!!! What is he DOING here?????????? Why is he going into AMY’s office?????????

To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Jen Sadler Re: Mitchell Hertzog

I don’t know what he’s doing here—talking to the T.O.D. about the case, probably. But this is your big chance to show him you aren’t the world’s greatest spaz. Get up and go make some copies, or something. Shake that booty you’ve worked into such perfect shape running up and down the stairs to my apartment. Thank GOD you wore a skirt today. . . .

GO FILE SOMETHING!!!!!!!!! He’s coming out of her office . . .

Go!!!!!!!!!!! NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

To: Jen Sadler Fr: Kate Mackenzie Re: Mitchell Hertzog


To: Jen Sadler Fr: Tim Grabowksi Re: Mitchell Hertzog

Jen, my spies tell me that Stuart Hertzog’s brother is in the Human Resources offices at THIS VERY MOMENT. Also, that he was somehow involved in the incident in the lobby not too long ago, involving Kate Mackenzie and her ex. We have a bet going here in Computers that he’s going to ask Kate out, because there is nothing more appealing to a heterosexual male (or so I’m told) than a woman who needs rescuing. And if there was ever a woman who needs rescuing, it’s Kate.

So. Dish. What’s the verdict? Don’t let me down, darlin’, I got a fifty riding on this. . . .


To: Tim Grabowksi Fr: Jen Sadler Re: Mitchell Hertzog

Could you be more gay? Actually, he apparently came in to have a little powwow with the T.O.D. She looks pretty upset about it, so it must have been about Ida Lopez. You know she’s been getting grief about that from the 25th floor. In fact, she’s on the phone right now, probably to her fiancé, complaining about his brother’s cavalier attitude.

Mitchell just came out of her office and bumped into Kate, who was on her way to the copier. They are exchanging pleasantries.

Will that win you your fifty? Wait, were you for or against? ComputerGuy:

SPILL! What’re they saying now?

Sleaterkinneyfan: Tim! Is that you? ComputerGuy:

Who else would it be? No time for pleasantries. Of course I couldn’t be more gay. I AM gay. Now what are they talking about? Has he asked her out yet?

Sleaterkinneyfan: Oh my God. You computer people have no life. Okay, wait, let me just lean over here a little. . . . She’s apologizing for the lobby scene. He’s saying, “You mean guys don’t show up in your lobby bearing roses and singing love ballads to

you every day?” ComputerGuy:

Ooooooooooooo. Is it true he’s over six feet tall and has a full head of hair?

Sleaterkinneyfan: Yes. And I should add, he’s quite buff. For a lawyer. ComputerGuy:


Sleaterkinneyfan: Now Kate’s laughing. Oh, God, she’s nervous as hell. She keeps tossing her hair. ComputerGuy:

Hair tossing is good. What now?

Sleaterkinneyfan: Shit! Kate’s 4:30 appointment just walked in. Dolly Vargas. ComputerGuy:


Sleaterkinneyfan: Oh, yes. Like a heat-seeking missile, Dolly’s already got Mitchell in her sights . . . she’s centering on him . . . oh yes, and going in for the kill. ComputerGuy:

Abort! Abort! Don’t just sit on your ass, Sadler! DO something!

Sleaterkinneyfan: What am I supposed to do, Tim? Dolly’s the Style Editor. She’s wearing stiletto boots with a freaking Prada leather trenchcoat, and knowing Dolly, I can’t promise you she has anything on underneath it. The guy is going down. . . . ComputerGuy:

Our fair Kate will prevail! Because she is modest and cares about others. . . . Aw, hell, because Dolly’s pushing 40 and starting to look it.

Sleaterkinneyfan: Wrong! He’s leaving. With Dolly. ComputerGuy:

No!!!!!!!! Has a date with our fair Kate been secured?

Sleaterkinneyfan: Ew, Dolly’s taking his arm. She is escorting him to elevators! ComputerGuy:


Sleaterkinneyfan: Can’t let you know till after Kate’s meeting with Dolly. . . . No . . . wait . . . Kate’s looking this way. She’s signaling. . . . ComputerGuy:


Sleaterkinneyfan: Negative. That’s a negative. He did not ask her out. Repeat. He did not ask her out. ComputerGuy:

The horror. Oh, the horror.

Sleaterkinneyfan: Hey, we tried, okay? We’ll get him next time, champ.


Next time? I can’t go through this again. Oh, God, I need a Campari. I am actually moist beneath the pits.

Sleaterkinneyfan: Dolly is returning from elevators. She has a sly, cat-who-swallowedcanary look on her face. . . . ComputerGuy:

Are you surprised? We all know she swallows.

Sleaterkinneyfan: Ew! This conversation is over. Sleaterkinneyfan: logged off

To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Dolly Vargas Re: You

Katie, sweetie, it was LOVELY seeing you this afternoon. I didn’t know you were friends with Mitch Hertzog. Isn’t he a lamb? He helped me out of the most horrendous jam with one of my exes. . . . I met him at a benefit for heart disease. Mitch, not the ex. Hertzog Senior’s a longtime Heart Association benefactor . . . although more, I think, because he’s hoping to benefit from the research himself more than because he actually wants to help others. Mitch is the black sheep of the family—amajor disappointment to his parents, from what I understand. You know, he worked for a few years as a public defender. He tried very hard to give all manner of horrible people the vigorous defense they so badly needed but could not afford. Something about giving back to the community.

Still, in spite of that little lapse in judgment, he’s yummy. SO unlike his loathsome older brother. Did I tell you Stuart Hertzog once nearly got into a fistfight with a city councilwoman at a Trent (of the Park Avenue Trents, darling—Stuart and Mitchell’s sister is married to one) fundraiser? A FISTFIGHT, darling . . . something about the New York City school system, I can’t remember what. I think Stuart felt like, since he didn’t have kids, why should he pay so much in taxes for upkeep of the public school system? So the councilwoman told him because the schools were educating today’s children to be tomorrow’s doctors, and didn’t he think he’d need healthcare in his old age, and Stuart said over his dead body would he ever go to a doctor who’d received a public-school education. Well, you can see why she wanted to hit him).

Anyway, darling, why didn’t you TELL me that you and your scruffy little musician had broken up? I feel just awful, regaling you daily with stories of my own romantic conquests, never knowing that you were sitting there the whole time with your poor little heart all broken to bits. Is it true he caused that ruckus in the lobby today? I thought at the very least we’d had a bomb threat. But how perfectly ROMANTIC (if what I hear is true) that yummy Mitchell came to your rescue! Well, Mitch and the paper’s crack security staff, anyway.

And what is this I hear about you sleeping on various people’s couches since you left the little parasite—I mean, Dale? Sweetie, you’re insane. Come stay with me and Peter! We have plenty of space—there’s a guest room and everything. And you needn’t worry . . . Peter’s hardly ever there. He’s got shared custody with the kiddies from the first wife . . . or maybe his second . . . well, anyway, he’s only in our little pied-a-terre a few days a week. The rest of the time, he’s in Scarsdale with the junior Hargraves. It’d be a THRILL to have a roomie. We can have oodles of girl talk, order in horrible fattening foods, and watch Candida Royale videos all night long. . . . Oh, say YES!

You can move in tonight. Peter’s got some school function to attend with one of the kiddies. Let me know when you’ll be coming by, so I can tell Xavier (the doorman, sweetie).


To: Jen Sadler Fr: Kate Mackenzie Re: Tonight

Listen, DON’T GET UPSET, but Dolly Vargas has invited me to stay at her place for a few days, and I think I’m going to take her up on it. You and Craig deserve a break from

houseguests. I mean, from what I saw in the kitchen the other day, you guys really need some privacy. . . .

I’ll come home with you to pick up my stuff, then be out of your hair by 9, I SWEAR.


To: Kate Mackenzie Fr: Jen Sadler Re: Tonight

Are you INSANE? You’re moving in with DOLLY VARGAS???? Jesus, Kate, I know our couch isn’t all that comfortable, but aren’t you going a bit overboard? I mean, the woman was wearing a MINK VEST the other day. INDOORS.

I can understand your being tired of all the Ramen and wanting some lobster bisque, but really, Kate. Do you honestly think she’s going to let you sit through an entire episode ofCharmed without asking you a half million times if she looks fat in whatever new outfit she’s planning on wearing to whatever fabulous party she’s attending that night?

At leastI let you get your daily dose of Alyssa Milano without interruption.

Come on. Stay. I know East End is tempting, but really, everybody here on West 83rd loves you, too.


To: Jen Sadler Fr: Kate Mackenzie Re: Nice Try

Come on. You know having me constantly underfoot is putting this total crimp in your baby-making. And I am perfectly aware of the fact that it’s NCAA championship time, and that all Craig wants is his couch back.

Besides, maybe if I’m not there, Dale will stop, you know, terrorizing every delivery man who walks into your vestibule. And Dolly’s got a doorman, so even if Dale finds out where I’m staying, it’s not like he’s going to be able to get into the building.

Really, Jen, it’s just better for everybody, all around.

Well, except maybe for Dolly.

Is the T.O.D. still crying? Has anybody figured out what Mitch said to her?


To: Craig Sadler